Rankings & Recognition

NewsHour's Judy Woodruff Receives Lowell Thomas Award


Judy Woodruff, co-anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour, is the 24th broadcast journalist to receive the Marist College Lowell Thomas Award, which recognizes outstanding individuals in the communications industry, whose lives and work reflect the imagination, courage, ambition, and humanity of the legendary newsman and adventurer for whom it is named.


Judy Woodruff and Marist President Dennis Murray with the Lowell Thomas Award
and a portrait of the legendary broadcaster.

The award was presented by Marist College President Dennis J. Murray during a Nov. 19 luncheon ceremony at the Metropolitan Club. Woodruff's longtime friend and onetime colleague, Barbara Walters – herself a past Lowell Thomas honoree – delivered the citation, in which she lauded Woodruff's continued dedication to objective journalism in the public interest.

"I'm here today because I love Judy Woodruff," Walters said. "She is one of the few strong, independent journalists who tells it like it is."

President Murray has presented each of the Lowell Thomas awards, which commemorate the man and the College's great relationship with him, since their inception in 1983, when legendary CBS journalist Eric Sevareid was honored. Since then, the award has been given to the giants of broadcast news, including: Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley, Diane Sawyer, Tom Brokaw, Mike Wallace, Lesley Stahl, among others.

Woodruff was lauded for her role as a pioneering woman in broadcast journalism, who has helped blaze a path for other women, starting with her job as a local TV news anchor in Atlanta to winning the NBC News White House beat in 1980, heading political coverage at CNN for 12 years, and now as part of the first all-female anchor team of a network newscast.

In addition to Walters, Woodruff was celebrated by other media industry leaders, including: her husband, Bloomberg columnist and veteran political journalist Al Hunt; former NewsHour producer Linda Winslow; WCBS News Anchor Maurice DuBois; Becky Quick, co-host of CNBC's Squawk Box; Sara Eisen, co-anchor of CNBC's Squawk on the Street; Time.com Managing Editor Edward Felsenthal; NBC Universal Executive Producer Steve Friedman; and Essence Executive Editor Vanessa Bush, among many others.

In accepting the award, Woodruff said of Lowell Thomas, "He really did help lift journalism in television and radio to the place where it is today – central in keeping the American people informed."   

Marist College is home to the Lowell Thomas Communications Center, the recently-renovated home to the School of Communication & the Arts and the Center for Sports Communication.

It is also home to the Lowell Thomas Papers, the most significant collection of materials concerning Thomas’s storied life and career, and a significant source for scholarly research. Among the collection’s many highlights are personal diaries and photos from Thomas’s coverage of World War I and his historic travels with T.E. Lawrence through Egypt, the Sudan, and Arabia filming the Bedouin tribes as they battled the Turks. Among the most striking objects in the collection are the stunning photos and artifacts that he and his son, Lowell Jr., brought back from their 1949 visit to the Dalai Lama in Tibet only months before the invasion of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

The College's relationship with Thomas and his family, Marist's Dutchess County (N.Y.) neighbors, goes back decades. Thomas delivered the 1981 commencement address at Marist, when he was awarded an honorary degree. "The world is still full of excitement and exciting things to do," Thomas told the new graduates. "It’s up to you to go do them."

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