University administrators announced Friday that Michael Wilbon, Washington Post columnist and co-host of ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, will be replacing Christiane Amanpour as the speaker at Northwestern’s 152nd Commencement ceremony.
This last-minute change was arranged after the university became aware a few weeks ago that Amanpour would be out of the country on an assignment at the time of the ceremony. Left empty handed, the administration reached out to Wilbon, who graduated from Northwestern in 1980 and also serves on the board of trustees.
“We’re fortunate to have a superb board of trustees,” said NU President Morton Schapiro in a press release. “Assisting the University in a time of need is part of the trustees’ duty, and this was one of those times. We thank Michael in advance for being there when we need him.”
Wilbon joined the staff of the Washington Post in 1980, where he covered both professional and college sports, as well as the Olympics and other special events, for ten years before earning his own column. He has also hosted Pardon the Interruption since its inception in 2001 and has covered professional basketball for ABC and ESPN since 2006. The Society of Professional Journalists also named the Medill alum the top sports columnist in America in 2000, among other honors and acknowledgments.
“We are very appreciative of his being willing to step up and pinch hit, so to speak,” said Al Cubbage, Vice President of University Relations. “We’re confident that he’ll do a very good job.”
Commencement for the Class of 2010 will be held at 6 p.m. June 18 at Ryan Field.
Thanks to commenter Mr. Clean for correcting our error in the photo caption. NBN regrets the mistake.