Joe Johns to speak at Marshall’s Honors Convocation

HNN Staff
HUNTINGTON, WV – Joe Johns, a 1980 Marshall University graduate and CNN correspondent based in Washington, D.C., will be the featured speaker Friday, April 29, at the Elizabeth Gibson Drinko Honors Convocation at MU’s Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center on the Huntington campus.

The convocation, part of Marshall’s 17th annual Celebration of Academics, starts at 7 p.m. and is free to the public. It will be followed by a public reception.

  “We look forward every year to the Honors Convocation, which is the only university-wide recognition of our undergraduates’ academic excellence,” said Dr. Mary Todd, dean of Marshall’s Honors College. “It is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the achievements of students whose faculty have identified them as outstanding in their field of study.”

  Todd said more than 100 students will participate and for the first time all 64 graduates of the Honors College will receive a special medallion. Also for the first time, the students will be accompanied by their department chairs when they are recognized on stage.

  Todd said it is appropriate that Johns deliver the keynote address to a group of outstanding students. At Marshall, Johns was a standout student-athlete, winning four Southern Conference championships in the shot put and discus for the Thundering Herd track and field team, while consistently earning dean’s list honors in the classroom. He earned a degree in political science from Marshall and a law degree from American University.

  With a commanding stage presence, he also was regarded as one of the best actors at Marshall in the late 1970s, performing key roles in numerous productions for the theatre department.

  Today, Johns is highly respected in his field. Before joining CNN in 2004, he covered Capitol Hill for NBC News for more than 10 years. He has received many honors, including two National Association of Black Journalists Salute to Excellence awards. He also was among the NBC Nightly News team to receive an Edward R. Murrow Award for reports on the “Beltway Sniper” saga. He also played a key role in CNN’s “America Votes 2008” coverage.

  Johns visited Marshall in 2008 when he served as grand marshal in the university’s homecoming parade. He also was the featured speaker that year at the 38th annual memorial service honoring the victims of the 1970 Marshall plane crash.  
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