NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg to Deliver W&L Law Commencement Address

Lexington, VA Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Nina Totenberg
Nina Totenberg, award-winning legal affairs correspondent for National Public Radio, will deliver this year's commencement address during the 2011 graduation exercises at Washington and Lee University School of Law.

Commencement is scheduled for Saturday, May 7 beginning at 11:00 a.m. on the lawn between the Colonnade and Lee Chapel (rain location: Warner Center). The event is open to the public. A complete schedule of events is available at the commencement website.

Totenberg, whose reports air regularly on NPR's All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition, has won widespread acclaim for her coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court and legal affairs. 

"Nina Totenberg's extraordinary career as a legal affairs journalist gives her unique insights into the profession and its interactions with larger society," said Interim Dean Mark Grunewald. "We look forward with excitement to her address and are honored to have her join us on this important occasion."

In 1991, her ground-breaking report about University of Oklahoma Law Professor Anita Hill's allegations of sexual harassment by Clarence Thomas led the Senate Judiciary Committee to re-open Thomas's Supreme Court confirmation hearings to consider Hill's charges. NPR received the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award for its gavel-to-gavel coverage, anchored by Totenberg, of both the original hearings and the inquiry into Anita Hill's allegations.

That same coverage earned Totenberg additional awards including the Long Island University George Polk Award for excellence in journalism; the Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for investigative reporting; and the Carr Van Anda Award from the Scripps School of Journalism. In addition, she won the prestigious Joan S. Barone Award for excellence in Washington-based national affairs/public policy reporting, which also acknowledged her coverage of Justice Thurgood Marshall's retirement.

Totenberg was named Broadcaster of the Year and honored with the 1998 Sol Taishoff Award for Excellence in Broadcasting from the National Press Foundation. She is the first radio journalist to receive the award. She is also the recipient of the American Judicature Society's first-ever award honoring a career body of work in the field of journalism and the law.

A frequent contributor to major newspapers and periodicals, she has published articles in The New York Times Magazine, The Harvard Law Review, The Christian Science Monitor, New York Magazine, and others. Before joining NPR in 1975, Totenberg served as Washington editor of New Times Magazine, and before that she was the legal affairs correspondent for the National Observer.

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