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The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is hosting Cronkite Day, a large-scale alumni celebration, on Oct. 18 as part of Arizona State University’s Homecoming Weekend.
The second annual event attracts alumni as well as current and prospective students to the Cronkite School for social, career development and networking opportunities. The free event will take place at the school on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix Campus from 1-5 p.m.
This year’s Cronkite Day will include three showcase panels featuring alumni experts and other thought leaders from a variety of disciplines. The panels will focus on government transparency and the relationship between the Obama administration and the press; the growing significance of public relations; and the influence of new television networks such as Al Jazeera.
“We’ve assembled a diverse panel of journalists and communicators as well as professionals from other fields to discuss three important issues impacting our profession,” said Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan. “We look forward to some interesting conversations with panelists, alumni and students.”
Panelists will include Marie Dillon (class of 1982), Chicago Tribune editorial writer; Air Force Maj. Craig Savage (class of 2000), chief of public affairs for the 24th Special Operations Wing; David J. Bodney, partner at Steptoe & Johnson LLP; and Paul K. Charlton, former U.S. attorney for the District of Arizona.
Cronkite Day also will offer career-building opportunities for alumni. Cronkite faculty will be available for one-on-one reviews of professional portfolios and resumes. There also will be computer kiosks for Cronkite graduates to connect with classmates from around the world on CronkiteNation.com, the school’s new alumni professional networking platform.
Faculty and students will be on hand to give attendees a glimpse into some of the school’s signature programs and projects, such as the Carnegie-Knight News21 investigative journalism program, a class that gives students real-world experience covering spring training, and Cronkite NewsWatch, the school’s award-winning, student-produced television newscast.
Student organizations such as The State Press, ASU’s student media outlet; The Blaze radio station; and the Public Relations Students Society of America will be available to provide information and answer questions.
Other Cronkite Day activities will include tours of the state-of-the-art Cronkite building and a chance to sit behind the anchor desk at the sixth-floor Sony TV Studio. Attendees can record a greeting, read a news story or share an ASU memory.
The day will close with a reception for ASU alumni at the A.E. England Building, located at Civic Space Park across from the Cronkite School.
The Cronkite School National Board of Advisors conceived and designed Cronkite Day as a way to honor the legacy of Walter Cronkite and reconnect alumni to the school. More than 750 people registered for last year’s inaugural event.
“Last year’s Cronkite Day was hugely successful in creating a forum for students, alumni, faculty and industry leaders to discuss the most pressing issues facing the media business,” said Craig A. Newman, chairman of the Cronkite School’s National Board of Advisors. “This year, our Cronkite Day panels have attracted thought leaders from different disciplines to tackle in depth the challenges facing all stakeholders in a constantly evolving and changing environment. It is precisely this type of dialogue that is so essential to maintaining and furthering the role of media at such a pivotal time in our nation’s history.”
This year’s Cronkite Day is celebrated the day before ASU’s annual Homecoming festivities and football game on Oct. 19. Later in the month, the Cronkite School will host the 30th annual Cronkite Award Luncheon. This year’s luncheon honors CBS news correspondent Bob Schieffer on Oct. 29.