Andy Alexander

Andy Alexander

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Journalist Andy Alexander to serve as undergraduate commencement speaker

Ohio University today announced award-winning journalist Andrew "Andy" Alexander will serve as the 2013 undergraduate commencement speaker. 

A 1972 OHIO alumnus, he currently serves as the Scripps Howard Visiting Professional for the Scripps College of Communication.

"This is a great honor," Alexander said. "I also consider it a great privilege to talk to those graduating from an institution that has played such a pivotal role in my career."
A former Washington Post ombudsman, editor and Washington bureau chief, Alexander has reported from more than 50 countries and won or shared in prizes for distinguished Washington correspondence and investigative journalism.

A strong advocate of open government, Alexander has written and spoken extensively about the public's right to know, helping to launch the Sunshine Week initiative, which each year focuses public attention on freedom of information and the dangers of government secrecy. In 2006, he was inducted into the First Amendment Center's National Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame for his efforts.

Raised in Urbana, Ohio, Alexander began his career while still in college, writing for the student newspaper and spending his summers interning for the Melbourne Herald in Australia and as a correspondent covering the Vietnam War and the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.

After graduating, Alexander joined Cox Newspapers, spending three decades as a reporter and editor for its Washington bureau. In 1997, he was named bureau chief, overseeing a Washington staff and foreign bureaus in London, Jerusalem, Beijing, Moscow, Mexico City, Baghdad and the Caribbean, as well as domestic bureaus in New York and on the West Coast. During his tenure with Cox, the Washington bureau shared in the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.

Devoted to his alma mater, Alexander continues to support Ohio University and the Scripps College of Communication. An editor of the student newspaper, The Post, during his college years, Alexander continues to mentor current student reporters and established a scholarship to support minority students in the School of Journalism. He also serves on the Dean's Advisory Council and chaired the WOUB Public Media Professional Task Force and the college Innovation Fund Committee.

"Andy personifies the transformative power of an Ohio University degree," said Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis. "As a reporter, he has demonstrated the highest level of journalistic excellence and ethics. As a first amendment advocate, he has consistently asserted his influence for the betterment of society. And Andy continues to elevate the reputation of our University through his time and generosity. Our students are fortunate for the opportunity to have such a distinguished alumnus as their commencement speaker."

Alexander has won or shared in the Raymond Clapper Award for distinguished Washington correspondence, the Global Media Award, the Thomas L. Stokes Award for environmental reporting, the Ohio Associated Press award for investigative reporting and the Ohio Associated Press award for feature writing.

He is a former board member of the American Society of News Editors and co-chairs its Freedom of Information Committee. He serves on the board of the Committee to Protect Journalists (NY), is a member and former officer of the prestigious Gridiron Club and has served on the board of the National Press Club. He is the recipient of the Scripps College of Communication Medal of Merit as a distinguished alumnus, and in 2011, was inducted into the Scripps College of Communication Hall of Fame and was Ohio University's Alumnus of the Year.

Undergraduate commencement will be held Saturday, May 4 at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Ohio University's Convocation Center in Athens. The University will honor Alexander's accomplishments at the morning undergraduate commencement ceremony with the conferral of an Honorary Doctor of Communication.

Two additional honorary doctorates will be conferred at the graduate commencement ceremony on Friday, May 3 at 9:30 a.m. at the Convocation Center. Paul Schullery will receive an Honorary Doctor of Literature and Thomas Meyer will receive an Honorary Doctor of Chemistry.

The speaker for Ohio University's graduate commencement will be Jay Ryu, associate professor of public administration in the Department of Political Science and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs and the recipient of the 2012 Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award.