CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric will be honored at the Fordham University Club’s Annual Dinner, to be held on Thursday, Sept. 17, in Washington, D.C.
Couric, the recipient of six Emmy Awards and the first female to anchor a weeknight network news broadcast, will receive the D.C.-based alumni club’s Brien McMahon Award for Public Service, given to a person whose work and service reflects the ideals of Fordham University.
The award is named after the late Connecticut senator and 1924 Fordham graduate who facilitated the creation of the Atomic Energy Commission. It is being given in recognition of Couric’s service and dedication to the cause of early detection and treatment of colon cancer.
Following the death of her husband, Jay Monahan, in 1998 from the disease, Couric launched the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance to fund new medical research in the disease and to promote early detection. If discovered early, colorectal cancer is one of the most treatable of cancers, with a survival rate of 93 percent.
“We believe that Ms. Couric’s service and dedication to the cause of early detection and treatment of cancer is exemplary of the spirit of service demonstrated by Fordham’s late senator, Brian McMahon,” said Mike Mele (FCRH ’74), secretary of the Fordham University Club of Washington D.C.
Mele added that the celebrity anchor’s early career experience in Washington, D.C., made her a prime candidate for the award. Couric began her broadcast journalism career as a desk assistant at ABC News in Washington in 1979. She subsequently worked for CNN and for WRC-TV in the D.C. area before becoming a national correspondent for NBC. She is a native of Arlington, Va.
Couric has earned wide recognition both in her distinguished professional career and for her public service initiatives.
The RTNDA honored the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric with the Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Newscast in both 2008 and 2009. Also in 2009, the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication awarded Couric with the Walter Cronkite Award for Special Achievement for “National Impact on the 2008 Campaign.” Couric is also being awarded the 2009 Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media, named for USA TODAY and Freedom Forum founder Al Neuharth and recognizing lifetime achievement. Her March 2000 series on colon cancer earned NBC the RTNDA-Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence. In 2003, she received UNICEF’s Danny Kaye Humanitarian Award for her commitment to children’s causes.
The McMahon award was established in 1962 in honor of the late senator’s work to ensure civilian, not military, control of nuclear weapons development and to cultivate peaceful uses of atomic energy. Previous recipients include Mother Teresa, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Walter Cronkite, Colin Powell, and Joseph O’Hare, S.J., former president of Fordham.