Soledad O’Brien to speak at Agnes Scott Commencement

News from Agnes Scott College (official announcement):

Emmy-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien will deliver remarks at Agnes Scott College’s 124th Commencement on May 11 at 9:30 a.m. on the Presser Quadrangle and receive an honorary degree from the college. The Reverend Dorothy Collin (DC) Horne, minister of congregational life at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlotte and mother of Senior Class President Sally Horne ’13, will be the speaker for Baccalaureate Vespers on May 10 at 4:30 p.m. in Gaines Chapel, Presser Hall.

O’Brien is a CNN special correspondent. She recently entered into a unique production and distribution agreement with the network to produce long-form programming specials through her company, Starfish Media Group. Launching in June, the 360 media production company and distributor will be dedicated to uncovering and producing empowering stories that take a challenging look at often divisive issues of race, class, wealth, opportunity, poverty and personal stories.

A critically-acclaimed journalist, O’Brien has reported on breaking news from around the globe. In 2011, she won an Emmy for Crisis in Haiti in the category of Outstanding Live Coverage of a Current News Story Long Form. O’Brien was part of the coverage teams that earned CNN a George Foster Peabody award for its BP oil spill and Katrina coverage and an Alfred I. duPont Award for its coverage of the Southeast Asia tsunami. The National Association of Black Journalists named O’Brien the Journalist of the Year and Edward R. Murrow Awards lauded her with the RTDNA/UNITY award for Latino in America in 2010. O’Brien has been integral in hosting and developing the award-winning Black in America franchise, one of the CNN’s most successful international franchises. In 2010, she wrote a critically acclaimed memoir “The Next Big Story: My Journey through the Land of Possibilities,” which chronicles her biggest reporting moments and how her upbringing and background have influenced these experiences.

In addition to Starfish Media Group, Soledad and her husband, Brad, run the Soledad O’Brien & Brad Raymond Foundation, which sends young women to and through college.

“We are thrilled to have Soledad O’Brien speak to the Agnes Scott class of 2013,” said Elizabeth Kiss, president of Agnes Scott. “Ms. O’Brien’s distinguished career as a broadcast journalist, her trailblazing documentaries about race, ethnicity and American identity and her personal philanthropic commitment to the education and empowerment of young women make her a perfect role model for our graduates.”

Horne is minister of congregational life at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlotte. She previously served as associate for campus ministry and for Presbytery missions for Providence Presbytery in five upstate South Carolina counties. Horne has a degree in child development and family relations from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a master’s in Christian education from the Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond. She graduated in 1988 from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Va., where she received her Master of Divinity degree. Her first ordained call was to First Presbyterian Church in Concord, NC.

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Georgia Colleges is published and edited by Jonathan Grant, an Atlanta-based author whose works include the award-winning The Way It Was in the South: The Black Experience in Georgia (University of Georgia Press). He is currently developing a guidebook to Georgia colleges for parents, students, and educators.

Grant graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English. He is a former newspaper reporter, editor, and bureau chief with The Macon Telegraph and served as a Georgia state government spokesman for several years.

He lives in suburban Atlanta with his wife, Judy, and two children–a college freshman and a high school senior. Actively involved in community affairs, he has served as a PTA president, a local school council member, and as a soccer coach for twelve seasons.