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Renowned Journalist, Media Executive Gregory Favre to serve as fall 2015 Commencement Speaker

Wed, 12/02/2015 - 05:57pm

An American media magnate whose career began in the Magnolia State will serve as the fall 2015 commencement speaker at The University of Southern Mississippi.

Gregory Favre, a former executive editor of the Sacramento Bee and vice president for McClatchy Newspapers, will give the keynote address to graduates at two commencement exercises Friday, Dec. 11 at Reed Green Coliseum on the Hattiesburg campus.

The first ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. for graduates of the Colleges of Health, Nursing, and Science and Technology. The second ceremony is set for 2:30 p.m. for graduates of the Colleges of Arts and Letters, Business, and Education and Psychology. University Libraries faculty members will also participate in the second ceremony.

A native of New Orleans, Favre grew up working for the family newspaper (Sea Coast Echo) in Bay St. Louis, Miss. His rise in the field of journalism began as a sports reporter for the former Jackson (Miss.) State-Times, before joining the Atlanta Journal as assistant sports editor and then continuing as press secretary to Rep. Charles Weltner (D-GA); managing editor of the Dayton Daily News; editor of the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post; editor of the Daytona Beach News-Journal; news director of WPLG-TV in Miami; editor of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times; and managing editor of the Chicago Daily News and the Chicago Sun-Times.

Under his leadership, Favre's newspapers won four Pulitzer Prizes, including the Public Service Gold Medal in 1992 for The Sacramento Bee. He was vice president for news of McClatchy Newspapers from 1989-2001, when he retired and became a Distinguished Fellow in Journalism Values at The Poynter Institute. In 2015, he was the founding editor of CALmatters, a non-profit journalism venture headquartered in Sacramento that serves as a watchdog of California government. He currently serves on the CALmatters board, as well as the board of M. Roberts Media.

Dr. Chris Campbell, professor of mass communication at Southern Miss, met Favre two years ago when he came to speak about the media industry to students for a master class at the University. He said he's impressed that at age 79, Favre continues to be a passionate force in journalism with the launch of CALmatters earlier this year.

“Mr. Favre's extraordinary career has spanned an era when journalism has undergone a dramatic transformation. It was an honor to sit in on the master class he conducted for our students in 2013,” Campbell said. “He's one of the world's foremost authorities on the newspaper business, and he was able to draw on his impressive career to illustrate many of the most significant aspects of journalism, including the impact of new technologies. I have no doubt he'll deliver a commencement address that will resonate with Southern Miss students.”
Favre is a past president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the California Society of Newspaper Editors. His work has earned him multiple awards and honors, including the California Press Association named News Executive of the Year in 1992; the Silver Em Award from the University of Mississippi in 1996; and the National Association of Minority Media Executives Catalyst Award and a Doctor of Humane Letters from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, both in 1997.

A former chair of the Foundation of American Communications, Favre was also on advisory boards for the journalism schools at Northwestern, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Southern California, as well as Knight Foundation's specialized journalism programs at the University of Maryland and the University of Southern California. Favre also served on the board of the Inter-American Press Association, the Board of Visitors for the University of California, Davis, Medical School, the ASNE Foundation Board and chaired the Lutheran Magazine Advisory Committee

For more information about fall 2015 commencement at Southern Miss, visit