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National News Correspondent to Speak at OWU Commencement

February 17, 2006

Delaware, Ohio—CBS News National Correspondent Byron Pitts will speak this year at Ohio Wesleyan University's Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 14.Covering the biggest domestic and breaking stories and reporting on a new beat focusing on faith, family and the culture, the Emmy award-winning Pitts, a 1982 Ohio Wesleyan graduate, majored in journalism and speech communication. He was promoted to national correspondent this month. He previously was, since 1998, a CBS news correspondent based in the Miami and Atlanta bureaus before moving to New York in 2001. Pitts has covered many of the biggest stories during that time. He was one of CBS News' embedded correspondents covering the war with Iraq and was recognized for his reporting while under fire within minutes of the fall of the Saddam statue. Pitts also was the network's primary correspondent at Ground Zero immediately following the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. He covered Hurricane Katrina from New Orleans, the aftermath of the tsunami from Indonesia, the war in Afghanistan, the military buildup in Kuwait, the Florida fires, the Elian Gonzalez story, the mudslides in Central America, and the refugee crisis in Kosovo, among numerous other stories.Pitts also was a correspondent for CBS NEWSPATH, the 24-hour news service of CBS News in Washington, D.C. He joined CBS News from WSB-TV in Atlanta, where he was a general assignment reporter, and has also worked for WCVB-TV in Boston, WFLA-TV in Tampa, WESH-TV in Orlando, and at WAVY-TV in Virginia.He has received numerous awards, including a national 2001 Emmy Award for his first-hand report from Ground Zero on 9/11, as well as his coverage of the Chicago train wreck in 1999. He is the recipient of a National Association of Black Journalists Award, four Associated Press Awards and six regional Emmy Awards."Byron Pitts is an enormously accomplished man and by all accounts, a tremendous speaker. I'm really looking forward to this Commencement address," says OWU President Mark Huddleston, who, along with Senior Class President Anita Chandrasekhar, announced the news about OWU's Commencement speaker."It is a great honor to have such a renowned CBS correspondent who has won several awards, including the Emmy, speak at our Commencement,"says Chandrasekhar. "The greater honor is that this renowned person is also an Ohio Wesleyan graduate."

OWU's Commencement ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. in Phillips Glen on campus.