TALLAHASSEE – Emmy-Award winning journalist Byron Pitts and civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton will deliver the keynote speeches during the Florida A&M University (FAMU) Spring 2013 Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 4.
Pitts will address students slated to receive degrees at the 9 a.m. ceremony, and Sharpton at 2 p.m., both in the Alfred Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium on FAMU’s Tallahassee campus.
Known for thought-provoking news coverage and commitment to exceptional storytelling, Pitts was an embedded reporter covering the Iraq invasion and has been recognized for his work under fire.
Pitts was also CBS’s lead correspondent at Ground Zero immediately following the September 11 attacks and won an Emmy for his coverage. A news veteran with more than 20 years of experience, other major stories include the war in Afghanistan, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the military buildup in Kuwait and the refugee crisis in Kosovo. Pitts achieved a lifelong goal when he was named a contributing correspondent to CBS’s 60 Minutes in 2009.
In 2013, Pitts moved from CBS to ABC becoming the network’s chief national correspondent and a substitute anchor.
In his memoir, Step Out On Nothing: How Family and Faith Helped Me Conquer Life’s Challenges, Pitts shares how his faith saw him through his many struggles and how a few key people “stepped out on nothing” to help him change his life. At the podium, he shares his story and inspires audiences to reach for their dreams.
Sharpton is currently the host of a television show on MSNBC that analyzes the top political and social news of the day featuring the country’s leading newsmakers. He also hosts a nationally syndicated radio show, Keepin’ it Real.
The FAMU schools and colleges graduating during the 9 a.m. session are: College of Education, College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, College of Science and Technology, School of Architecture, School of the Environment, School of Journalism and Graphic Communication.
Graduating during the 2 p.m. session are: College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Law, School of Business and
Industry, FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, School of Allied Health Sciences and School of Nursing.