News Release from AASCU


Contact: Jennifer Herrera (202) 478-4665


AASCU Honors Renowned University of South Dakota Graduate

Washington, D.C. – Prominent broadcast journalist Tom Brokaw has been named the 2008 recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award (DAA) by the American Association of State Colleges & Universities (AASCU). The award will be presented at the AASCU Annual Meeting Awards Brunch on Tuesday, November 25 in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Aimed at directing national attention to the value of society’s investment in state colleges and universities, the Distinguished Alumnus Award is presented to an individual, known nationally or internationally, who has made a significant contribution to the public, intellectual or cultural life of the nation. Brokaw, former anchor and managing editor of the “NBC Nightly News,” holds a degree in political science from the University of South Dakota.

Brokaw began his journalism career in 1962 at KMTV in Omaha, Nebraska. He anchored the late evening news on Atlanta's WSB-TV in 1965 before joining KNBC-TV in Los Angeles. Hired by NBC News in 1966, Brokaw anchored the "Today" program from 1976-1981 and the “NBC Nightly News” from 1982-2004.

Complementing his distinguished broadcast journalism career, Brokaw has written articles, essays and commentary for several publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Time, The New Yorker, Men's Journal, Sports Illustrated, Life, National Geographic, Outside and Interview. Brokaw is also the author of several best-selling books including The Greatest Generation, A Long Way from Home and Boom! Voices of the Sixties.

Brokaw has earned a dozen Emmys and two Peabody and duPont awards for his journalistic achievements, as well as the Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award and the Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement.

First presented more than 35 years ago, Brokaw joins a list of past DAA honorees that include former Secretary of State General Colin L. Powell (City College of the City University of New York), Academy Award-winning actress Eva Marie Saint (Bowling Green State University, Ohio), biochemist and 1988 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Medicine Gertrude Belle Elion (City University of New York, Hunger College), and acclaimed mathematics teacher Jaime A. Escalante (California State University, Los Angeles). Nominees must be a graduate of an AASCU member institution and be nominated by a president or chancellor.


AASCU is the leadership association of 420 public colleges and universities Delivering America’s Promise through their common commitments to access, affordability and educational opportunity. Enrolling more than 3 million students, these institutions fulfill the expectations of a public university by working for the public good through education, stewardship and engagement, thereby improving the lives of people in their community, their region and their state.