McGruder Lecture set for March 31

Heather Inglis

The College of Communication and Information and the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will be honoring ABC anchor and correspondent Byron Pitts and The Call & Post editor Constance Harper at this year’s Robert G. McGruder Lecture on Monday, March 31.

The lecture will be held at 11 a.m. in the Kiva and is free and open to the public. It will be followed by an invitation-only luncheon.

This year’s Robert G. McGruder Award for Diversity will be awarded to Pitts, who has worked on various broadcast outlets such as Good Morning America, Nightline, and 20/20.

Pitts is the second broadcaster to receive this award, following last year’s recipient, news anchor Russ Mitchell.

Also being recognized at the lecture is Harper, who will receive the Diversity in Media Distinguished Leadership Award. Harper is the editor of The Call & Post, a Cleveland-based African-American newspaper.

This is the first time this award has been given to someone who edits and is responsible for an ethnic newspaper, JMC associate professor Eugene Shelton said.

Shelton also said the McGruder Lecture is being taken to a new level this year with the elevated status of the award recipients.

“In so many ways, this is a year of many firsts. and we’re very excited,” Shelton said.

The Robert G. McGruder Luncheon, Lecture and Award Presentation began in 2003 in honor of the late Robert G. McGruder, the first black editor of the Daily Kent Stater and the first black reporter at The Plain Dealer, for his commitment to diversity.

Contact Heather Inglis at [email protected].