Staff Report

Florida A&M University (FAMU) alum ABC News President Kimberly Godwin has been announced as the keynote speaker for the Fall Commencement ceremony.

During the 6 p.m. Dec. 15 ceremony, Godwin, a graduate of the FAMU School of Journalism & Graphic Communications (SJGC) who has become one of the most powerful executives in American media, is expected to receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

“As a proud Rattler, I am deeply honored to deliver the Fall 2023 commencement speech,” Godwin said. “I first set foot on campus as a shy 16-yearold, but FAMU gave me the tools I needed to get to where I am today. I am also grateful to receive the honorary doctorate degree, which I dedicate to the next generation of bold, straightforward journalists to uncover their greatest potential.”

More than 650 students from the university’s more than a dozen colleges and schools are scheduled to participate in the commencement exercises at the Al Lawson Multipurpose Center, 1800 Wahnish Way.

“We are excited to welcome FAMU alumna and ABC News President Kim Godwin as the fall commencement speaker. Her words of encouragement and superlative career will inspire our graduates and others in attendance to achieve far beyond their dreams,” said President Larry Robinson, Ph.D.

In April 2021, when Godwin was appointed president of ABC News, she became the first woman and the first person of color to be named president at ABC News, and the first Black person to lead a broadcast news network. Godwin oversees editorial and business operations for broadcast, digital, streaming and audio news across the organization, which includes the trusted and iconic franchises “Good Morning America,” “World News Tonight,” “20/20,” “Nightline,” “FiveThirtyEight,” “The View,” and “This Week.” Under her leadership, ABC News has had 66 Emmy News and Documentary nominations and 10 wins, the most in more than two decades.

Godwin’s accomplished 40-year career has been dedicated to championing diversity, excellence, and the vital role of journalism. Before joining Disney in 2021, she served as executive vice president of News at CBS, where she oversaw Network News Services and 400 domestic and foreign affiliates; CBS Audio Services, including over 600 affiliates and podcasts; the National Desk and domestic bureaus; News Standards and Ethics; and Race and Culture. She joined the network in 2007. Godwin began her career running local newsrooms in markets across the U.S., including New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Philadelphia, and Cleveland.

Godwin has received many recognitions for her outstanding contributions as a pioneer in the broadcast industry and a community advocate. In 2023, Godwin received the inaugural Silver Circle Emmy, which recognizes those professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25 years or more, was honored with the T. Howard Foundation’s Executive Champion Award for her commitment to the value of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, included on the ColorComm28 list, named one of Ad Age’s “Leading Women,” was highlighted in Variety’s New Power of New York list, and featured on Crain’s New York “Notable Black Leaders” list.

Over her career, Godwin has been honored with six National News and Documentary Emmy Awards, two Edward R. Murrow Awards, an Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Award, and a Sigma Delta Chi Award.

Godwin is a 1984 graduate of FAMU, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in broadcast journalism from the SJGC. She currently serves as SJGC’s chair of the Board of Visitors. Godwin is married to fellow alum, Derrick C. Manning, assistant superintendent of Clayton County Schools. Her blended family includes two daughters and two stepchildren.