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Cronkite school plans daylong tribute to namesake

August 17, 2009

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University is planning a daylong tribute next month to honor the late CBS News anchor.

Two major evening events will cap off the Sept. 30 celebration of Cronkite’s life and legacy. 

Aaron Brown, the former CNN anchor who now serves as the Walter Cronkite Professor of Journalism at ASU, will interview live via satellite past winners of the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism, discussing Cronkite’s impact on journalism and the world. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward of the Washington Post and former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw are already committed.

The final program will focus on Cronkite and his impact on the school that was named in his honor 25 years ago. 

The Cronkite tributes will be held in The First Amendment Forum of the school’s new downtown Phoenix home. All are free and open to the public.

During the afternoon, the school will air two documentaries on Cronkite’s life: PBS’s “Walter Cronkite: Witness to History” and the CBS special “That’s the Way it Was, Remembering Walter Cronkite.” 

In addition, visitors will have the opportunity to tour the Marguerite and Jack Clifford Gallery to view artifacts from Cronkite’s career, including his lifetime Emmy, pipe collection, books and CBS typewriter. Tours of the new Cronkite building, which opened last year, also will be available.

“Walter Cronkite was not only the leading journalist of his time but was the person most responsible for making the journalism program at ASU one of the best in the world,” said Dean Christopher Callahan.

“We want to take this special day to remember his enormous contributions to journalism and to his school.”

ASU announced last week that Cronkite School supporters have started a new fund to establish a Cronkite Day each year at the school to celebrate his life and his journalistic values of excellence, accuracy, integrity and objectivity.

The Sept. 30 schedule includes:

1:30 p.m.: Clifford Gallery Curator John Craft gives a tour of the Cronkite collection in the Marguerite and Jack Clifford Gallery

2 p.m.: PBS “American Masters” documentary “Walter Cronkite: Witness to History”

3:30 p.m.: CBS special “That’s the Way it Was, Remembering Walter Cronkite”

6 p.m.: Cronkite Professor Aaron Brown interviews past Cronkite Award winners live via satellite

7:15 p.m.: A tribute to Cronkite and his impact on the school that bears his name