Saint Mary's names commencement speaker
Paula Madison, president and general manager of KNBC-TV in Los Angeles, will deliver the Commencement address at Saint Mary's graduation ceremony, the College announced in a press release Monday.
In addition to her duties at KNBC-TV, Madison also serves as the vice president of diversity for NBC, making the 1974 Vassar College graduate the first African-American woman to become a general manager at a network-owned station in a top-five market.
"She is one of the few women in the position she has," College President Marilou Eldred said. "And as far as we can tell, she holds the highest rank of any minority person in her field."
An active volunteer in the national community, Eldred hopes Madison will be able to deliver a relevant address to this year's graduating class.
"Each year we try to pick someone who is known to be a good speaker who will deliver a message that is relevant to the seniors," said Eldred. "We try to pick someone who will really provide a challenge to the class."
Madison has a long history of success in the communications field.
She began her career as a newspaper reporter, earning awards including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the National Association of Black Ida B. Wells Journalists' Award. After moving into the television sphere of communications as vice president and news director at WNBC, an NBC flagship station in New York, "Crain's New York Business" named Madison one of New York's 100 Top Minority Executives, before moving on to her current position.
Madison has complimented a successful professional career with a long history of service.
She currently is involved in several volunteer organizations, including the Center for Public Integrity, a non-profit agency based in Washington, D. C.
The process of picking a speaker is always a long one for the Saint Mary's administration.
The College first solicits nominations and suggestions and then the Office of Academic Affairs narrows down and approves a short list of five to ten candidates.
Eldred then makes the final decision depending on a variety of factors including speaker availability and cost.
All News Stories for Tuesday, April 10, 2001