Schorr speaks to ECU graduates
(May 7, 1994)
A veteran news reporter, who was included in the late President Richard Nixon’s “enemies list,” talked to graduates of East Carolina University today about the importance of forgiving.
Daniel Schorr, who won three Emmy awards for his coverage for CBS of the Watergate scandal, said he has forgiven the late president.
“We will all end doing something we regret,” Schorr told the crowd of 15,000 including 2,100 seniors and graduate students.
“We hope there will be a statute of limitations on it—not a legal one, but a moral one. We will hope that for everyone, redemption is possible,” he said.
The commencement ceremony, ECU’s 85th, was held in the newly named Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Under clear skies and bright sunshine, glitter and ornaments reflected from the flat tops of many of the graduates’ caps. One student, an Industry and Technology major, wore a model of a little red school house.
During the ceremony, ECU recognized four of its top seniors with University Awards. Amanda A. Hines and Angela B. Reid of Greenville, Cesar H. Colon of New Bern and Carol J. Shields of Halifax were the recipients.
The awards recognize academic accomplishment and leadership. The ECU Alumni Association established a $1,000 scholarship in each of their names.
Schorr, the commencement speaker, talked about his 55 years in journalism including his work with the CBS Network, with CNN and with National Public Radio.
He said the most “electrifying moment” in his career came while covering hearings, led by Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina, on Watergate. On live television, Schorr was handed a copy of 20 names that were on the Nixon White House’s “enemies list.” The fourteenth name on the list was his own with a note that called him “a real media enemy.”
He said his name on the list and the subsequent FBI investigation of his background came as a surprise. Later, he said the White House claimed that the investigation was because he had applied for a government job.
“I have no trouble accepting him now,” Schorr said of the late president. I will not say forgive because it is not for me to forgive, but I accept that what is past is past,” he said.