The Herald-Times

Brokaw to be speaker at Ivy Tech’s O’Bannon Institute

By Mike Leonard 331-4368 |
January 20, 2013

Broadcast journalist and author Tom Brokaw will be the featured speaker at Ivy Tech Bloomington’s O’Bannon Institute for Community Service program this spring.

Brokaw spent his entire journalism career with NBC news, beginning as a reporter in 1966 and continuing through his work as the network’s White House reporter, co-host of “The Today Show,” anchor of the NBC Nightly News and host of the venerable news talk show, “Meet the Press.”

Brokaw will speak at the institute’s fundraising dinner April 11 at the Bloomington Monroe County Convention Center.

“I think he’s one of the big names in the history of television news,” said Mike Conway, a journalism professor at Indiana University and authority on the history of broadcast news. “He was the face of the network for a long stretch of time and he still is called in when big things happen. He’s kind of become the statesman of television anchors.”

The veteran broadcaster also is well-known for his bestselling 1998 book, “The Greatest Generation,” which extols the virtues of the men and women who weathered the Great Depression, fought and sacrificed for the United States in World War II and returned home to build the country into a political, economic and military superpower.

“We’re actually building on that book to create the theme for our O’Bannon Institute this year,” said John Whikehart, chancellor of Ivy Tech Bloomington. “Our theme is Building the Next Great Generation and we’re going to be discussing where the next generation is coming from and what are the challenges the next generation is going to face.”

This will mark the 10th year of the O’Bannon Institute for Community Service, a three-day event that will run April 10-12 and include a civic engagement awards ceremony, volunteer service projects in the community, panel discussions and a final closing conversation.

Previous speakers for the O’Bannon Institute fundraising dinner have included columnist George Will, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, political strategists James Carville and Mary Matalin, former First Lady Laura Bush and former Sen. Alan Simpson.

“People often ask me how I decide who I will invite,” Whikehart said. “I always say the same thing: it’s someone I’d like to meet.”

Tickets for the fundraising dinner featuring Brokaw are available through Tina Phelps at 330-6001 or

Details about this year’s O’Bannon Institute will be posted, when available, at

Tom Brokaw

Copyright: 2013

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.