Sam Houston State Teachers College (now Sam Houston State University)
Dan Rather may be the best-known journalist in the world. He has covered virtually every major event in the world in the past 60 years including local reporting in Texas on Hurricane Carla to his unparalleled work covering the assassination of President John F. Kennedy; the civil rights movement; the White House and national politics; wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf, Yugoslavia and Iraq.
In 2006 Rather founded the company News and Guts and became anchor and managing editor of HDNet’s Dan Rather Reports, which specializes in investigative journalism and international reporting.
He has interviewed every United States president from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Barack Obama, and virtually every major international leader of the past 30 years. He landed two world exclusive news-breaking interviews with Saddam Hussein, in 1990 and in 2003. In 2004, as a correspondent for 60 Minutes II, Rather also broke what was arguably that year’s biggest story—the abuse of prisoners at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison. His Dan Rather Reports for HDNet was honored with three Emmy’s for war and investigative reporting.
Rather served as anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News 1981-2005, the longest such tenure in broadcast journalism history. He helped to found 48 Hours, a broadcast he anchored and reported for from its premiere in 1988, through 2002. He was a correspondent for 60 Minutes 1975-1981, and 2005-2006. Rather also helped to found and served as a correspondent for 60 Minutes II from its debut in 1999, to its final edition in 2005.
During his 44 years with CBS News, Rather held other positions, including CBS News bureau chief in London and Saigon and White House correspondent during the Johnson, Nixon and Ford administrations.
Rather joined CBS News in 1962 as chief of its Southwest bureau in Dallas. He began his career in 1950 as an Associated Press reporter in Huntsville. Later, he was a reporter for United Press International (1950-52), KSAM Radio in Huntsville (1950-53), KTRH Radio in Houston and the Houston Chronicle (1954-55). He became news director of KTRH in 1956 and a reporter for KTRK-TV Houston in 1959. Prior to joining CBS News, Rather was news director at KHOU-TV, the CBS affiliate in Houston.
He has received numerous Emmy and Peabody Awards and citations from critical, scholarly, professional and charitable organizations.
Rather has also authored or co-authored eight books, five of which have become New York Times bestsellers, most recently Rather Outspoken released in May 2012.
In 1953, he received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Sam Houston State Teachers College (now Sam Houston State University), where he spent the following semester as a journalism instructor before joining the U.S. Marines.
In 1994, Rather was honored by his alma mater, Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, which named its journalism and communications building after him.
(Abilene Christian University)
Kathleen McElroy’s professional experience ranges across many topics and includes 20 years as an editor at The New York Times, where she served as an associate managing editor for weekend news, deputy editor of the Continuous News Desk, deputy sports editor, and dining editor.
She previously worked at The National and Newsday in New York, and at The Austin American-Statesman, Huntsville Item and Bryan-College Station Eagle in Texas. She has also written articles for The New York Times and other publications.
She is currently a Harrington Doctoral Fellow at the University of Texas in the School of Journalism, where she is expected to graduate in 2015. She is also editor of Reporting Texas, a website of student-written news features that can be distributed across the state.
McElroy received a master of arts from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study; her thesis, “Imitation of Life: How Obituaries Remember the Civil Rights Movement,” culminated her work in journalism and ethnicity studies.
She earned a bachelor of arts from Texas A&M, majoring in broadcast journalism, in 1981.
She covered sports and culture for the Battalion.