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Saturday: Tom Brokaw to address Loyola's Class of 2013

Loyola press release - May 6, 2013

Tom Brokaw, respected television journalist and long-time anchor of “NBC Nightly News,” will address Loyola University New Orleans' Class of 2013 during its spring commencement ceremony. Brokaw will receive an honorary degree during the ceremony along with legendary jazz vocalist Germaine Bazzle and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and now New York Times Managing Editor Dean Baquet. Loyola's College of Law commencement will feature political power couple Mary Matalin and James Carville as the keynote speakers.

Both commencement exercises are scheduled for Saturday, May 11 and will be held in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in downtown New Orleans. The undergraduate and graduate ceremony begins at 9:45 a.m., and the College of Law ceremony starts at 5:45 p.m. Both commencement ceremonies will be webcast live Saturday, providing access to family and friends who are unable to attend.

Tom Brokaw

Tom Brokaw has spent his entire distinguished journalism career with NBC News beginning in 1966 in the Los Angeles bureau where he covered Ronald Reagan’s first run for public office, the rise of the Sixties counter culture, the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy and the 1968 presidential campaign.

From Los Angeles, Brokaw went to Washington, D.C., as the White House correspondent during Watergate and as the principal backup for John Chancellor as anchor of “NBC Nightly News.” His next stop was New York and the “Today Show” followed by his appointment as anchor and managing editor of “NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw.” He took over “Meet the Press” for the 2008 campaign when his close friend and colleague Tim Russert died.

In addition to his daily news gathering responsibilities, Brokaw reported on more than 30 documentaries covering subjects ranging from AIDS, Los Angeles gangs, race, education, medicine, immigration and global warming.

He has an impressive list of firsts, including the first interview with Mikhail Gorbachev; the first network report on human rights abuses in Tibet accompanied by an exclusive interview with the Dalai Lama; and the only American network anchor to report from Berlin the night the Berlin Wall came down.

In 1998, Brokaw published his first book, “The Greatest Generation,” one of the most popular nonfiction books of the 20th century. He followed that with five other books, including “Boom! Voices of the Sixties,” and most recently, “The Time of Our Lives.”

Brokaw has won every major award in his craft, including a Peabody, Duponts, Emmys and lifetime achievement recognition. Brokaw has also been a generous and dedicated supporter of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.

Germaine Potter Bazzle

Retired music educator and renowned jazz vocalist Germaine Potter Bazzle is arguably one of the most expressive and stylized voices in New Orleans’ music history. The roots of jazz have always focused on the improvisational skills of the performer and Bazzle has mastered this art with an ability to musically explore an arrangement while leaving space for spontaneity. Her wide vocal range and mastery of animated dynamics, especially in her legendary “scats,” has allowed Bazzle to take ownership of jazz standards. Musicians even refer to that style as having “Bazzled” the melody.

The late Wardell Quezergue, H’09, celebrated New Orleans music arranger, producer and bandleader, once said, “Germaine is the only person I know who can turn a microphone into a musical instrument.”

Bazzle has recorded with a number of well-known jazz masters including Wynton and Ellis Marsalis, Dianne Reeves, Lady BJ, George French, Johnny Adams and Alvin “Red” Tyler. She recorded her first and only solo album in 1994, “Standing Ovation,” produced by AFO Records.

In addition to her extraordinary talents as a musician, Bazzle is perhaps best known locally for her teaching and support of young musicians. After graduating from Xavier University of Louisiana, Bazzle embarked on a teaching and entertaining career simultaneously—teaching during the day and playing bass in a traditional jazz band at night. While playing gigs “just sort of happened,” according to Bazzle, her true desire was to teach. She taught choir at Xavier University Preparatory School for many years before retiring and has also trained countless women in private vocal lessons. She participates each year in the Louis Armstrong Jazz Camp and also teaches in the Heritage School of Music, educating highly talented children on the New Orleans heritage of music, a multi-generational tradition which she embodies and professes. A devout Catholic, Bazzle sings in the St. Louis Catholic Choir where she coaches fellow choir members.

Bazzle is a tireless advocate for musician’s rights. She has both led and been a member of the local musicians’ union and has spearheaded an advocacy initiative for women, New Orleans Women in Music. The organization helps bolster the musical careers of women through music industry seminars and concert fundraisers in which resources are collected for social services for female musicians.

Dean Baquet

New Orleans native Dean Baquet became managing editor of The New York Times in 2011. He was Washington bureau chief for The Times from 2007. That year he returned to the East Coast after seven years on the West Coast as editor and managing editor of the Los Angeles Times, during which the newspaper earned 13 Pulitzer Prizes, the most successful run in its 128-year history.

Like many reporters, Baquet did not initially want to become an editor when the prospect was raised by then-executive editor Joseph Lelyveld, who had recruited him to the paper. Baquet's style of leadership became famous. Ken Auletta wrote in The New Yorker that, while newsrooms are notorious for competition and backbiting, the national desk at The Times suddenly became an exception. He quoted one staffer saying "It was the happiest place ... where editors joked and reporters liked to drop by, rather than slink past. And it was because of Dean."

Baquet first joined The New York Times in 1990 as a metropolitan reporter. In 1992, he became special projects editor for the business desk, and in 1994, he held the same title but operated out of the executive editor’s office.

Before joining The Times, he reported for the Chicago Tribune from December 1984 to March 1990. There he was associate metropolitan editor for investigations and chief investigative reporter, covering corruption in politics and the garbage-hauling industry. He was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting in March 1988 when he led a team of three in documenting corruption in the Chicago City Council.

Baquet started out covering police at New Orleans’ now-defunct States-Item, then moved to The Times-Picayune where he worked for nearly seven years. He attended St. Augustine High School, and his family ran Eddie’s, a Creole restaurant in the city’s Seventh Ward.

In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, Baquet has received the Peter Lisagor Award for Investigative Reporting in 1988 as well as the Chicago Tribune’s William H. Jones Award for Investigative Reporting in 1987, 1988 and 1989, and numerous local and regional awards.

Born on Sept. 21, 1956, Baquet majored in English at Columbia University from 1974 to 1978. He and his wife, Dylan, have one son, Ari.

Mary Matalin and James Carville

Long before they co-authored the national best seller “All’s Fair: Love, War and Running for President,” Mary Matalin and James Carville were key players on the national political stage.

Carville has been at the center of many dramatic Democratic political victories in recent decades. The “Ragin’ Cajun” achieved a number of successes in electing Democrats to the U.S. Senate and to governor’s seats in the 1980s and early 1990s. He emerged on the national scene after his consulting firm, Carville and Begala, helped elect President Bill Clinton in 1992. A best-selling author, he co-wrote his latest book—“It’s the Middle-Class, Stupid!”— with pollster Stan Greenberg. Carville is also a frequent political commentator, a professor at Tulane University and former contributor on CNN.

Matalin is one of the most celebrated conservative voices in America. As an author, political contributor and public speaker, she is noted for her straight talk and keen insights. Matalin served as deputy campaign manager on President George H. W. Bush’s 1992 re-election bid. She later was assistant to President George W. Bush and counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney. She joined CNN as a Republican strategist and political contributor in April 2009 and appeared on a variety of the network’s news and public affairs programs. She authored “Letters to My Daughters” in 2004 and co-starred on HBO’s critically acclaimed series, “K Street,” which was produced by George Clooney. Matalin also co-hosts the nationally syndicated “Both Sides Now” radio program with Arianna Huffington.

Matalin and Carville were co-chairs of the Host Committee for the 2013 NFL Super Bowl played in New Orleans Feb. 3. The couple has resided in the Crescent City with their daughters, Matalin and Emma, since 2008.

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LoyNews is an e-newswire produced by the Loyola University New Orleans Office of Public Affairs. LoyNews is distributed weekly to local, regional and national news media outlets, communicating the latest news and accomplishments of the university and its community.