September 28, 2005

SIUC hosting broadcast journalist Walter Rodgers

by Pete Rosenbery


CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Walter C. Rodgers, one of the nation's most respected broadcast journalists and a two-degree graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, returns next week to share his nearly 40 years of experience.

Rodgers will speak on "Where Are the Wise Men?" at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 6, at the SIUC Student Center Ballroom D. The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute is sponsoring the lecture, which is free.

"Walter Rodgers is an outstanding international reporter -- one of the best in the world," said institute Director Mike Lawrence. "We are pleased he has agreed to share his unusually well-informed global perspective, including insights on Iraq and the Middle East, with our community. It will be a fascinating evening."


Media Advisory

A media availability with Walter C. Rodgers is set for 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 4, at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute lobby. Reporters and photographers may also cover Rodgers' discussion with history students at 3:15 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 5, in the law school auditorium.


A book signing of Rodgers' new book, "Sleeping with Custer and the 7th Cavalry: An Embedded Reporter in Iraq," follows the lecture. Published by Southern Illinois University Press, the 272-page book is set for release Wednesday, Oct. 5.

The book is Rodgers' account of the war from the Kuwaiti border to Baghdad. A book signing for the general public is set for 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 5, at Barnes & Noble, 1300 E. Main St., Carbondale.

During his visit to SIUC, Rodgers will also be talking with history majors about how a degree in history can prepare graduates for successful careers in other fields.

Rodgers is one of five recipients of this year's Distinguished Alumni Awards from the SIU Alumni Association. He earned a bachelor's degree in history from SIUC in 1962, and a master's degree in history from SIUC two years later. Rodgers delivered the commencement address to SIUC graduates in May 1987.

Rogers, whose stepfather worked at CBS, decided while in graduate school at the University of Washington to move to Washington, D.C., to "try to live some history instead of writing about it."

That decision led him to begin pursuing a career in broadcast news which would last almost 40 years before he retired in September 2005 as the senior international correspondent for CNN based in London. Rodgers came to CNN in 1993 after 12 years with ABC News.

While in London, Rodgers covered the war against terror and the search for Osama Bin Laden, the buildup of U.S. military forces in Kuwait and terrorist threats. Before going to London, Rodgers was the CNN bureau chief in Jerusalem, and the ABC News bureau chief in Moscow. Rodgers' work with ABC News included covering the U.S.-Soviet presidential summits, Iranian hostage stories, and Watergate court proceedings. From 1974 to 1981 Rodgers was White House correspondent for Associated Press Radio and covered the Ford, Carter and Reagan administrations.

Developing citizen-leaders with global perspectives is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.

For more information, contact the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at 618/453-4009 or visit