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UC Berkeley Press Release

Journalist Ted Koppel to speak at UC Berkeley's 2004 Commencement Convocation

– Ted Koppel, anchor and managing editor of ABC News "Nightline," will deliver the keynote address at the University of California, Berkeley's 2004 Commencement Convocation on Thursday, May 13.

Full coverage of Commencement Convocation on the Berkeley NewsCenter

The ceremony, which is not open to the public, honors the estimated 10,000 students who have become eligible during the school year for undergraduate and graduate degrees at UC Berkeley. It begins at 4 p.m. in the Greek Theatre with a procession of graduates in their caps and gowns.

No diplomas will be awarded at the convocation. Instead, degrees will be conferred at individual ceremonies held from May 12-29 by some 50 schools, colleges and departments on campus.

Ted Koppel
Ted Koppel on the challenges and satisfactions of journalism

A 39-year veteran of ABC News, Koppel was invited to speak at convocation by graduating seniors. His work as the principal on-air reporter and interviewer for "Nightline," the first late-night network TV news program, has earned him the reputation among viewers, critics and his peers as a journalist par excellence. Before his "Nightline" tenure, Koppel worked as an anchor, foreign and domestic correspondent and bureau chief for ABC News. He also has had a major reporting role in every presidential campaign since 1964.

Koppel has won broadcasting and journalism's most prestigious awards. Recently, he and his "Nightline" team were honored with one of broadcasting's highest honors: the duPont-Columbia University Award for the prime-time special, "Tip of the Spear." The program chronicled Koppel's reporting from the frontlines of the war in Iraq as an embedded journalist with the Third Infantry Division.

In addition to Koppel's speech, convocation will include an address by UC Berkeley's top graduating senior, Margaret Ann-Chia Chow. She will be awarded the 2004 University Medal, given to a graduating senior with outstanding accomplishments, including a GPA of at least 3.96.

Twenty-one-year-old Chow is a double major in economics and molecular cell biology. During her four years at UC Berkeley, she edited a scholarly journal and helped prepare disadvantaged students for the SAT. She will attend a drama program in Verona, Italy, this summer and then apply to law school.

Chow is among the estimated 6,000 students who will receive bachelor degrees this school year; the rest will earn graduate degrees.

Representatives from the senior class will present their gift to the campus at convocation. To date, the class has successfully raised $44,000.

Other familiar names are among the speakers scheduled to address graduates receiving their diplomas at campus ceremonies throughout May:

* Mariane Pearl, journalist and widow of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, will speak at the Graduate School of Journalism's commencement on Saturday, May 15, at 3 p.m. at North Gate Hall's courtyard. Pearl is the author of "A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband Danny Pearl."

* Barbara Lee, the congresswoman representing the 9th District of California, which includes the cities of Berkeley and Oakland, will address graduates of African American Studies on May 15 at 4 p.m. at the Greek Theatre. Lee earned a graduate degree in social welfare from UC Berkeley.

* Daniel Koshland, professor of cell biology at UC Berkeley and former editor of the journal Science, will speak to graduate students in molecular and cell biology on Saturday, May 22, at 2 p.m. at Zellerbach Playhouse. Koshland is the founder of the Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences, which recently opened in Washington, D.C.

* Eric Schmidt, chairman and chief executive officer of Google.com, will speak at the Haas School of Business' graduation ceremony on Sunday, May 23, at 7 p.m. at the Greek Theatre. Schmidt has a Ph.D. in computer science from UC Berkeley.


NOTE: Reporters are welcome at this event. For a current listing of UC Berkeley's individual graduation ceremonies, go to: http://www.urel.berkeley.edu/seniors/commencement/. See a press release about the new University Medalist at http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2004/04/27_chow.shtml.