Surgeon general, veteran journalist to speak at ASU spring commencement

Apr 15, 2023, 3:00 PM

(Facebook Photo/Arizona State University)...

(Facebook Photo/Arizona State University)

(Facebook Photo/Arizona State University)

PHOENIX — Arizona State University announced this week that the U.S. surgeon general and a veteran journalist will speak at the spring commencement next month.

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy will deliver the keynote speech at the undergraduate ceremony at Sun Devil Stadium on the evening of May 8, while broadcast journalist Judy Woodruff will speak at the graduate ceremony at Desert Financial Arena earlier that day.

“Judy Woodruff and Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy are pioneers in their respective fields and dedicated leaders whose lives and work mirror our institutional ideals,” ASU President Michael Crow said in a press release.

“We are excited to welcome them to Arizona and to honor their important contributions to the health, education and awareness of our nation.”

The two will have the honor of speaking to the more than 13,000 undergraduates and over 6,000 graduate students who have earned a combined 20,401 degrees at the university, according to the release.

“I look forward to sharing some thoughts with students earning graduate degrees this year, in many different disciplines, to remind them of how much we are counting on them to make the world a better place (especially at this deeply divided political moment),” Woodruff, a senior correspondent for PBS NewsHour, said in the release.

Murthy served as the 19th surgeon general of the United States and the first of Indian descent during the Obama administration.

He is back in the role for the Biden administration as the country’s 21st surgeon general, leading more than 6,000 public health officers, according to the release.

Woodruff has covered politics for more than four decades and won multiple awards during her illustrious career, such as the Peabody Journalistic Integrity Award and an Emmy for Lifetime Achievement.

She and Gwen Ifill were awarded the Arizona State University Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism in 2013 after the two became the first women to co-anchor an American national news broadcast.

The university is also presenting Woodruff, a graduate of Duke University, and Murthy, a graduate of Harvard and Yale, with honorary degrees.

“I am thrilled to be receiving an honorary degree from Arizona State University, one of the nation’s largest and most impactful institutions of higher learning,” Woodruff said in the release.

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Surgeon general, veteran journalist to speak at ASU spring commencement