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Margaret Brennan will deliver the spring 2018 Cronkite convocation address

CBS's Face the Nation moderator will speak to this year's graduating journalism students

Margaret Brennan

Margaret Brennan sits behind the Face the Nation anchor desk at the CBS News Bureau in Washington, D.C. in February 2018.

Face the Nation moderator and CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan will address the Cronkite School's newest graduates at the school's spring 2018 convocation ceremony

Brennan, who graduated from the University of Virginia in 2002, said she credits much of her success to the path her education cleared for her, as well as her recent move to take on the role of moderator for Face the Nation.

"This is an incredible honor to speak at the school of journalism where people are trying to learn the craft that (Walter) Cronkite mastered," she said. 

Brennan had an unconventional path to her position in the broadcast world. She said the University of Virginia had no media program when she was a student, so she studied foreign affairs instead.

“I think what I learned in my studies was that the news is a mix of being able to analyze something for why it’s happening based on political analysis and cultural elements, all the kinds of things that factor into that alchemy,” Brennan said. 

She double majored in Arabic and studied abroad in Jordan during her time as a student, which she said ultimately inspired her to pursue a career in the news media.

Brennan is currently the only woman anchoring a major Sunday political affairs show as a solo anchor.

Cronkite journalism faculty associate Sarah Muench said she is particularly inspired by Brennan’s work and what she represents for female journalists today.

“She’s a prime example of where education and hard work can take you,” Muench said. “It’s important that we keep seeing women in journalism.”

Muench said she learned a lot about the struggles of being a woman in the media through the eyes of her mother, who was a local TV reporter. Her mother was the first woman at her station to appear on camera while pregnant, Muench said.

She said she sees women in journalism as important in overcoming destructive cultural norms, and she thinks Brennan is a great example of that.

“Margaret is an inspiring journalist, and I hope our Cronkite students take her words with them on their journey into successful careers," Muench said. 

Even Cronkite students who aren't graduating seniors will have something to learn from the convocation address.

"I'm super excited Margaret will be speaking at this year's ceremony," journalism freshman Maegen Villarreal said. "She's paved the way for so many female journalists like myself, so to listen to her as our graduating class goes into the field will be really exciting." 

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