Famed journalist Barbara Walters, a correspondent for ABC News, the host of The Barbara Walters Specials, and creator, co-host, and executive producer of The View, will be the keynote speaker at the University of Rochester's 2012 Meliora Weekend on Oct. 13.
Comedian Craig Ferguson of CBS' The Late Late Show will be the headline entertainer for an evening show as part of the weekend's activities for alumni reunion, homecoming, and family weekend. More than 5,000 attendees are expected for four days of lectures, performances, seminars, and social gatherings Oct. 11 to 14, 2012.
After several years of increasing demand for tickets to the keynote address, an online lottery system will be available to the University community. Details will be announced this summer.
Walters was co-host and chief correspondent of ABC News' 20/20 for 25 years and has interviewed every U.S. president and First Lady since Richard Nixon. In addition, she has conducted interviews with world figures from Great Britain's former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to former Cuban President Fidel Castro. Most recently, in December, she conducted an exclusive interview with Syria's embattled president, Bashir al Assad, in Damascus.
She has received 12 Emmy Awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Daytime Emmys. She has received honorary doctoral degrees from Sarah Lawrence College, Ohio State University, Temple University, Marymount College, Wheaton College, Hofstra University, and Ben-Gurion University in Jerusalem.
She is a native of Boston, daughter of television impresario Lou Walters, and has one daughter.
Previous keynote speakers for Meliora Weekend have included President Bill Clinton, medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, University of Rochester alumnus and U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, journalist Anderson Cooper, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and General Colin Powell, USA (Ret.).
Ferguson is the Emmy Award-nominated host of CBS' The Late Late Show. He follows in the footsteps of his former co-star, Drew Carey, from the popular television series The Drew Carey Show, who performed at Meliora Weekend in 2006. Ferguson was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons.
Complete Meliora Weekend program and ticket guidelines will be announced this summer. For details, visit the Meliora Weekend website at www.rochester.edu/melioraweekend.