Celebrated Television Anchor Monica Kaufman Pearson to Deliver Commencement Address

Monday, April 22, 2013

Media Contact: LeAnn Waldroup
(706) 379-5310, klwaldroup@yhc.edu

Celebrated Television Anchor Monica Kaufman Pearson to Deliver Commencement Address at Young Harris College

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – Monica Kaufman Pearson, retired veteran anchor of WSB-TV’s Channel 2 Action News in Atlanta, will deliver the commencement address at Young Harris College’s Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 4, at 11 a.m. in the Recreation and Fitness Center on the YHC campus.

Pearson retired in July 2012 after a 37-year career with WSB-TV. She joined the Channel 2 Action News staff in 1975 as Atlanta’s first woman and first minority to anchor the 6 p.m. news. She ended a run of more than 30 years as the Channel 2 Action News Nightbeat anchor in May 2011 when WSB-TV launched its 4 p.m. newscast. Pearson is also well known for her long-running “Close-Ups,” in which she interviewed nationally known celebrities and world leaders.

The University of Louisville English graduate was a reporter with The Louisville Times for five years. She also participated in the Summer Program for Minority Groups, later called The Michelle Clark Fellowship, at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in 1969. She worked in public relations for Brown-Forman Distillers before joining WHAS-TV in Louisville, Ky., as a reporter and anchor for three years.

For her professional work, Pearson has received some of journalism’s highest honors including 30 Emmy Awards, the Women’s Sports Journalism Award for Local Television Reporting, and two National American Women in Radio and Television Awards. She also was inducted into her home state of Kentucky’s Journalism Hall of Fame.

She was elected 2004 Georgia Woman of the Year by the Georgia Commission on Women and received a Media Excellence Award from the National Foundation for Women Legislators that same year.In 2012, Pearson received the Atlanta Metropolitan College Foundation Leadership Award and was honored by members of the U.S. Congress, Georgia lawmakers and the city of Atlanta.

Pearson is a member of countless professional organizations including the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Black Journalists, the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists, the Junior League of Atlanta, American Women in Radio and Television, the Atlanta Press Club, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Screen Actors Guild, and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

She has served on the boards of directors of Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company, the High Museum of Art, the Alliance Theatre Company, the Metropolitan Atlanta United Way, the Northwest Georgia Girl Scouts Council and the Azira Hill Talent Development Program of the Atlanta Symphony.

Since 2002, she has read to first graders in Atlanta each week through the BookPals program of the Screen Actors Guild. She attends Gospel Tabernacle Church, where her husband, John E. Pearson Sr., is the senior elder, and is a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church.

Pearson resides in Atlanta with her husband and is currently a graduate student in the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. She has a daughter, Claire Deveaux, and a stepson, John E. Pearson II.

Approximately 138 students are scheduled to participate in the graduation ceremony. Of those, 128 will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in art, biology, business and public policy, communication studies, education, English, history, mathematics, music, music education, musical theatre, outdoor leadership, psychology or theatre.

For more information, contact the Office of the Registrar at (706) 379-5176.

About Young Harris College
Young Harris College is a private, baccalaureate degree-granting college located in the beautiful mountains of north Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires and empowers students through the highest quality liberal arts education. The College currently has more than 1,000 students across five divisions—Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, Mathematics and Science, and Social and Behavioral Sciences—and plans to increase enrollment to 1,200 over the next few years. The historic campus in Young Harris, Ga., is currently undergoing major campus improvements to accommodate the College’s growth, including recent completion of a 200-bed, LEED Silver-certified residence hall, Georgia’s first higher education facility north of Atlanta to achieve this certification, a 57,000-square-foot, LEED-certified recreation center, the second higher educational recreation facility in Georgia to achieve this certification, and a 248-bed, apartment-style residential village. In 2011, the College was granted candidacy for NCAA Division II athletics. YHC is among fewer than 300 colleges and universities nationwide named to the 2012-2013 list of Colleges of Distinction. For more information, visit www.yhc.edu.