Brooke Baldwin, CNN news anchor and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will deliver the Commencement address at the University on May 14 in Kenan Stadium.
Baldwin, who anchors the 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. weekday edition of CNN Newsroom, joined the network in 2008 as a reporter and took over the anchor position in 2010. Most recently, Baldwin played an integral role in CNN’s record-breaking coverage of the historic 2016 presidential election.
“We are fortunate to have Brooke Baldwin, an award-winning journalist and Carolina graduate, returning to her alma mater to share her experiences about broadcast journalism today,” said Chancellor Carol Folt. “I have had the pleasure of meeting Brooke and I know our students will be inspired by her story of building upon what she learned at UNC-Chapel Hill to create a successful career covering significant breaking news stories around the world.”
In addition to covering the 2016 presidential election, Baldwin traveled to the Persian Gulf last spring for an exclusive embedded opportunity with the US Navy, reporting on the War on Terror. She also traveled to Kenya ahead of President Obama’s historic visit and landed an exclusive interview with his half-sister and their 93 year-old grandmother. Baldwin also hosted a historic town hall in Washington, DC in September 2015 that included interviews with people who have been touched by gun violence.
Her live anchoring includes President Obama’s second inauguration, extensive special coverage of the Boston marathon bombings and the elementary school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. She also covered the 2012 Presidential election, anchoring her show from the Republican convention and participating in the network’s primetime coverage of the GOP primaries. Additionally, she contributed to the network’s Peabody award-winning coverage of the 2008 presidential election.
She has covered major breaking news from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the death of Osama bin Laden. She was part of CNN’s Peabody-award winning team, covering the oil spill disaster in the Gulf. Baldwin worked with the network’s Special Investigations Unit to complete her first hour-long documentary “To Catch a Killer” which won a Silver World Medal for Best Investigative Report at the New York Festivals International Television & Film Award in 2012. She began her news broadcasting career at WVIR in Charlottesville, VA and served as a lead reporter for the 10 p.m. newscast at WTTG in Washington, D.C. before joining CNN.
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Baldwin earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Spanish from the University in 2001. She also studied at the Universidad Ibero American in Mexico City.
“Coming home to Carolina and speaking to the Class of 2017 is a ‘bucket list’ opportunity for me. Once in a lifetime. I’ll never forget standing in my blue robe in 2001 listening to the wise words of the legendary Stuart Scott,” said Baldwin. “I have big shoes to fill. I’m beyond honored. See y’all in May!”
Folt chose Baldwin in consultation with faculty and staff on the University’s Commencement Speaker Selection Committee.
Spring Commencement will be held at 9 a.m. in Kenan Memorial Stadium. Folt will preside over the ceremony. For more information, visit http://commencement.unc.edu.