Dru Riley Evarts, left, Ohio University professor emerita of journalism, sits with Emeriti Association President George Weckman, right, as they attend a Q&A with Gwen Ifill, center, with other Emeriti Association members.
Photographer: Brenna Kowall
Feb 28, 2013
by MaryKate McHugh
Ohio University’s Emeriti Association welcomed PBS NewsHour senior correspondent, Gwen Ifill on February 25 for an informal Q&A session with the group. Ifill’s visit came before her appearance as the keynote speaker for the Scripps School of Journalism’s Schuneman Symposium on Photojournalism & New Media. This year’s symposium, themed “Excellence: Why it (still) matters”, also marked the school’s 90th anniversary of journalism education at Ohio University.
Ifill answered questions from emeriti openly and freely during the Q&A. The emeriti’s questions tapped into Ifill’s background in political journalism and focused on today’s political issues.
Ifill reflected on the importance of looking at all sides of any current political issue.
“Our culture is deteriorating because we don’t talk across lines to each other,” Ifill said. “I always want to hear all the arguments: it doesn’t matter if I agree with you in the end, I want to know why you feel so strongly. I want to understand what is the under opinion of your set of beliefs. Only then do I start to get a sense of what Americans are thinking.”
Emeriti Association President and Associate Professor Emeritus of Classics and World Religions George Weckman said the association, which co-sponsored Ifill’s appearance, invited her as a way to recognize the school’s milestone.
“We were interested in focusing this year on that school, its history and its contribution to Ohio University,” he said. “Last year we celebrated the Ohio University Press.”
The free event welcomed members of the community, the University and the Emeriti Association.
The Emeriti Association is composed of faculty and administrative retirees named “emeriti” by the Trustees of the University. All emeriti are considered to be Association members. In addition to special events, it holds monthly luncheon meetings from September to June.