Michael Wilbon, sports columnist for the Washington Post and co-host of the popular ESPN show, “Pardon the Interruption,” will speak at Northwestern University’s 152nd Commencement on June 18. Wilbon will replace CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour, who originally was scheduled to speak but will be out of the country on assignment at that time.

Michael Wilbon, sports columnist for the Washington Post and co-host of the popular ESPN show, “Pardon the Interruption,” will speak at Northwestern University’s 152nd Commencement on June 18. Wilbon will replace CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour, who originally was scheduled to speak but will be out of the country on assignment at that time.

Michael WilbonWilbon, a member of Northwestern’s Board of Trustees, received a bachelor of science in journalism degree in 1980 from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism.

“We’re very pleased that Michael has agreed to be our commencement speaker on such short notice,” said Northwestern President Morton Schapiro. “We’re fortunate to have a superb board of trustees. Assisting the University in a time of need is part of the trustees’ duty, and this was one of those times. We thank Michael in advance for being there when we need him.”

Wilbon joined the Post as a reporter in 1980 and covered college and professional sports, as well as major events, including the Olympics, Super Bowls and NCAA Final Fours. The Post made him a sports columnist in 1990. He and former Post colleague Tony Kornheiser have co-hosted “Pardon the Interruption” since the show’s debut in 2001. Wilbon, who covered the NBA for many years, joined the ABC/ESPN coverage of professional basketball in 2006.

Wilbon began his sports writing career working as a student reporter and columnist at the Daily Northwestern. In 1997 he was inducted as an inaugural member into Medill’s Hall of Achievement. He has served as a member of Medill’s Board of Advisors. In 2000 Sigma Delta Chi, the Society of Professional Journalists, honored Wilbon as the top sports columnist in America. His reporting and commentary have been honored by the Associated Press Sports Editors and the National Association of Black Journalists. In 2009 NABJ gave him the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Northwestern’s Commencement will be held at 6 p.m. June 18 at Ryan Field on Northwestern’s Evanston campus.

Related stories

Michael Wilbon to replace Christiane Amanpour as commencement speaker (Daily Northwestern)

Administration announces new commencement speaker (North by Northwestern)

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6 Comments

  1. Why not substantial speaker ?
    Nothing against Wilbon as a person but why does NU continue to have actors, poets, sports, etc. people. Christiane Amanpour, while a TV reporter, did at least have serious investigations under her belt.
    Why not noted academics or those who have added to the discussions of society or substantial contributions to science, religion, politicl thought [not political speeches].

      1. More interesting than a

        More interesting than a sports journalist, for sure. I would tune in to the webcast.

    1. +1

      At least Christiane Amanpour was *by far* more accomplished and interesting than any sport journalist. It’s unfortunate that she cancelled late in the game, but the university could have looked for longer. Ugh, I’m disappointed. And, unfortunately, it’s customary to give the commencement speaker an honorary degree.

  2. Wilbon v. Amanpour
    I think Wilbon and Amanpour are essentially equal as far as career accomplishments are concerned. Wilbon is a good speaker and I’m confident he’ll give an entertaining speech. Besides, is there anything more discussed and less important than commencement speakers? I graduated from a Big Ten (not NU) school that always gets “big time” speakers and, without fail, the most poignant speeches are given by the students that are graduating and the faculty that taught them along the way.

    1. Rather odd withdrawal

        Odd that she canceled with one month left before her speaking.   She must have known her schedule in advance, able to rearrange her news committment [surely someone else could have handled the story].   Even Madylin Albright was going to come to graduation until the last minute.

       

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