Journalist Bill Moyers to speak at WFU Divinity School Chapel Service

By Jacob McConnico
March 1, 2006

Bill Moyers, a broadcast journalist, former public official and Baptist minister, will speak at the Wake Forest University Divinity School's chapel service at 11 a.m. March 14 in the university's Wait Chapel. The event is free and intended for members of the Wake Forest community.

Bill Moyers

Moyers, who most recently served as anchor and managing editor of the PBS series "NOW with Bill Moyers," will deliver the address "A Time for Heresy." During the service, Geneva Brown, a member of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education, and Walter Harrelson, former dean at the University of Chicago and Vanderbilt University divinity schools, will receive Distinguished Service Awards from the Divinity School.

Divinity School officials will also announce creation of the Bill & Judith Moyers Scholar Program during the chapel service. The scholar program, created with a $100,000 gift from James M. and Marilyn Dunn of Winston-Salem, will provide funding for one Divinity School student a year to serve as an intern at the Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty in Washington, D.C.

The scholar program, which is intended to recognize the substantial contributions of Moyers and his wife, Judith, to American public life, is open to student applicants during the spring of 2006. James Dunn is resident professor of Christianity and public policy in the Divinity School. Dunn, a longtime friend of Bill and Judith Moyers, served as executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee from 1980 to 1999 and works part time as president of the organization's endowment.

Bill Moyers, who was awarded an honorary degree from Wake Forest in 1997, is an internationally-recognized journalist, commentator and author. During his career in broadcast journalism, Moyers has won more than 30 Emmys, two Golden Baton awards and nine Peabody awards.

Moyers served as a founding organizer of the Peace Corps and was press secretary for Lyndon Johnson before becoming the publisher of Newsday in 1967. He served as a reporter and anchor for public television before moving to CBS, where he was senior news analyst for the CBS Evening News.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Texas in 1956 and a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

Judith Moyers has been recognized for her work as an advocate for children by groups such as the Girl Scouts of America and the National Council of Churches. She has served as a United States commissioner to UNESCO, a member of the White House Commission on Children and a member of the National Governors' Association Task Force on Education and Economic Development. Born in Dallas, she is a graduate of the University of Texas earning a Bachelor of Science.

The Moyers collaborate with Public Affairs Television Inc., an independent production company founded by Bill Moyers and headed by Judith Moyers. Before their retirement in 2004, Judith Moyers was executive editor and Bill Moyers was managing editor and anchor of "NOW with Bill Moyers." They have three children, John, William Cope and Suzanne. Suzanne is a 1984 graduate of Wake Forest.

Judith Moyers will lecture at 3 p.m. March 14 to students in the Wake Forest Divinity School course "God and the New York Times: Religion in Contemporary America." The course is taught by Bill Leonard, dean of the Divinity School, and James Dunn. The lecture is open to students and faculty in the Divinity School, the counseling department and women's and gender studies, and will be held in Wingate Hall, Room 302.

Bill Moyers will participate in a question-and-answer session and a book signing at 4:30 p.m. March 14 in the Reynolda Hall Main Lounge.

For more information, call (336) 758-3957.