“The Washington Journal” host to address December UCCS graduates

Tom Hutton, (719) 255-3439, (719) 351-6519, thutton@uccs.edu Phil Denman, (719) 255-3732, pdenman@uccs.edu
Robb Harleston today
Robb Harleston today

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Since graduating from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Robert “Robb” Walter Harleston has interviewed world leaders, military aids and economics advisers as host of C-SPAN’s flagship morning public affairs program, “The Washington Journal.”

Now, 30 years after his own graduation, Harleston, 54, will share his experiences with an estimated 450 students who will participate in December 2013 UCCS Commencement ceremonies scheduled for 2 p.m. Dec. 20 at the Colorado Springs World Arena. Harleston earned a Bachelor of Arts in Distributed Studies: Communication from UCCS in 1983.

Harleston will join UCCS Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak, CU President Bruce Benson and members of the CU Board of Regents in congratulating graduates and in the formal conferring of degrees.

In addition to his work on the “Journal,” Harleston is also C-SPAN’s congressional editor, managing the coverage of events on Capitol Hill, including Congressional hearings, news conferences, speeches and other special events.

Prior to joining C-SPAN, Harleston worked as a television news reporter and anchor in Washington D.C., Charleston, S.C., Charlotte, N.C., Kansas City, Mo., Memphis, Tenn., and Jacksonville, Fla. His coverage of Hurricane Hugo helped his station win the Peabody Award and the George K. Polk Award in 1989. His work at C-SPAN helped the network win a special Emmy Award for outstanding election coverage in 2004.

On Wednesday, Harleston will connect with Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak, one of his instructors in the early 1980s. He will take a campus tour with current Department of Communication faculty Thursday. This will be Harleston’s first return to campus and opportunity to observe the transition from a 5,500-student commuter campus with a half-dozen buildings to today’s UCCS with more than 10,500 students, six colleges, and 50 buildings, including on-campus residence halls.

Rob Harleston receives his diploma from Professor Jim Null at 1983 UCCS Commencement ceremonies
Robb Harleston receives his diploma from Professor Jim Null at 1983 UCCS Commencement ceremonies

Harleston and Shockley-Zalabak renewed ties at a Washington, D.C. meeting for UCCS alumni. Shockley-Zalabak issued the invitation for Harleston to visit campus and to continue a tradition of alumni delivering the December commencement address. In 2012, former HP executive Tom Saponas, a member of the class of 1972, delivered remarks. In 2011, Fed Ex executive Mike Fryt, a member of the class of 1977, spoke.

As in past years, commencement ceremonies will broadcast live online. To watch the approximately 90-minute ceremony on Dec. 20, visit www.uccs.edu/commencement/fall-ceremony.html.

The ceremonies will be rebroadcast on Comcast Channel 20, and posted to YouTube with closed captioning provided by the UCCS Office of Disability Services and Communication Access Services. For a schedule of the broadcasts, and other details, visit www.uccs.edu/commencement.

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs, located on Austin Bluffs Parkway in Colorado Springs, is one of the fastest growing universities in the nation. The University offers 37 bachelor’s degrees, 19 master’s and five doctoral degrees. UCCS enrolls about 10,500 students on campus annually and another 2,000 in online programs. For more information, visit www.uccs.edu.