In his final act as a professor at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Tim McGuire challenged the school’s newest graduates to unabashedly chase their dreams.
McGuire, who retired Tuesday after 10 years as the Cronkite School’s Frank Russell Chair for the Business of Journalism, was the keynote convocation speaker at ASU Gammage, where 329 students received degrees with 2,000 guests in attendance.
In his address, McGuire, former longtime editor of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, charged graduates to dream big and take risks. Recalling personal discussions with graduating seniors about their careers, he urged graduates to follow their passions in life by taking risks.
“Understand our life on this blue marble is short,” McGuire said. “Too damn short to do something we’re not passionate about.”
McGuire capped his keynote speech with the trademark football call often heard in his lectures. “I am convinced that if you dream big and push to meet those dreams and understand that you, and only you, are responsible and accountable for making a good life, then one day you will be able to stand back and declare, ‘Touchdown!’” he said.
Christopher Callahan, dean of the Cronkite School and University Vice Provost, said McGuire’s arrival to the Cronkite School established a new era, with a focus on innovation and the future of media.
“Our goals as professor are to teach and inspire,” he said. “And no one has done that better than Tim McGuire.”
In all, the Cronkite School graduated 270 bachelor’s degree students, with 203 earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication, 61 receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and Media Studies and six earning a Bachelor of Arts in Sports Journalism. The Cronkite School also graduated five master’s degree students and 53 students who earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Steven Garry received a doctoral degree, the fourth awarded by the school.
Student speaker Erica Lang of Overland Park, Kansas, encouraged the graduating class to embrace and drive change in their careers. She said the Cronkite School through its faculty and innovative professional programs has positioned them for success.
“The truth is that our graduation is not the end, but rather the beginning of our journey,” said Lang, who graduated with both her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the Cronkite School. “And we each get to decide the path our own story takes.”
Callahan said nearly half of the graduating class earned high academic honors. Fifty-four students graduated summa cum laude status with grade-point averages of at least 3.8; another 50 graduated magna cum laude with GPAs of 3.6 to 3.79; and 46 graduated cum laude with GPAs of 3.4 to 3.59.
In addition, 22 students were inducted into Kappa Tau Alpha, a national college honor society that recognizes academic excellence and promotes scholarship in journalism. The top 10 percent of the graduating class is inducted into the society each semester.
STUDENT AWARD WINNERS
Outstanding Graduate Student
ASU Alumni Association Outstanding Graduate
Outstanding Undergraduate Students
Highest Grade-Point Average in Journalism
Highest Grade-Point Average in Media Studies
Top Innovator Award
Cronkite Spirit Award
Kappa Tau Alpha National Honor Society
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