The Washington Post national correspondent and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Wesley Lowery will deliver the 2017 spring undergraduate commencement address, according to a news release from Ohio University.
Prior to beginning his career with The Washington Post, Lowery, who attended OU from 2008-2012, was a reporter for The Boston Globe, where he contributed to the coverage of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
“It’s always exciting to come back to Athens and be around OU students,” Lowery said. “... Athens is a place that’s really special to me, where I got to do a lot of learning and a lot of growing, and so any time that I get to come back is a real honor and a real treat.”
Most recently, Lowery published The New York Times bestselling “They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore and a New Era in America's Racial Justice Movement." Having been a lead reporter covering Black Lives Matter protests, he was a member of the Washington Post team awarded both the Pulitzer and George Polk Awards for national reporting for ongoing coverage of deadly police shootings across the United States.
“In his relatively short career, Wesley Lowery has already accomplished a great deal, namely earning a reputation for excellence in reporting during his award-winning work at The Boston Globe and The Washington Post,” OU interim President David Descutner said in the news release. “We are so proud of Wesley and believe our graduates and their families will be inspired by this former Bobcat and his experiences on the front lines of contemporary history.”
During his journalism career at OU, Lowery served as the editor-in-chief of The Post and went on to write for and contribute to publications including The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated and The Guardian.
While visiting campus in March for the annual Schuneman Symposium hosted by the Scripps College of Communication, Lowery met with Descutner, who invited him to return to his alma mater to deliver the address to the graduating class. Although his address has yet to be written, Lowery said he hopes to provide the new graduates with an encouraging view as they move forward into their careers.
“We’re at a time in our nation where things can feel kind of chaotic, a little out of control,” Lowery said. “There’s a lot changing, a lot happening, which I can only imagine is compounded when you’re at a point in your life where a lot is changing, when you’re leaving a place that’s been home and heading out to build new homes.”
The undergraduate commencement ceremonies will be held Saturday, April 29 at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Convocation Center. Graduate commencement ceremonies will take place in the same location Friday, April 28 at 9:30 a.m.
Clarification: The article has been updated to clarify when Lowery attended OU.