(SOUTH ORANGE, NJ) -- Robin Roberts, who has connected with athletes, entertainers, fans, and viewers for decades – first at ESPN and for the last 20 years on “Good Morning America” – will be honored with a Lifetime Professional Achievement Award by the new Seton Hall University Center for Sports Media at a special gala on September 15 at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers in New York City.
Roberts has been one of the preeminent broadcast journalists of her era. She has won numerous Emmy Awards, including four at “Good Morning America,” and most recently the 2022 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Informative Talk Show as host and executive producer of “Turning the Tables” on Disney+. She was voted as the “Most Trusted Person on Television” by a Reader’s Digest poll in 2013, was honored with The Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism, and has been inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame and Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame. More importantly, she is a two-time cancer survivor and has teamed with Be the Match to help raise awareness for the need for bone marrow donors.
The Center for Sports Media at Seton Hall University was launched in the Fall of 2021 with a generous donation from sports journalist and Seton Hall alumnus Bob Ley ’76, who anchored the SportsCenter desk with Roberts at ESPN and on location at events from Atlanta to South Africa.
“The Center for Sports Media is already bursting with activity benefiting our students, and it holds tremendous promise,” said Ley. “Our Gala on September 15th will gather friends and supporters of the Center to celebrate our official launch and set our ambitious course. To recognize my dear friend and colleague Robin with our inaugural Award will cap the night, as she so perfectly embodies the professional and personal qualities that will further inspire our students.”
The Center for Sports Media is the latest forward-looking move from Seton Hall, where a wide variety of top-ranked “Pirate” sports on the South Orange campus offers a learning laboratory for students to hone the skills of modern storytelling, while getting an education steeped in traditional journalistic principles.
“We are proud to be honoring Robin Roberts at this momentous occasion,” noted Renee Robinson, Ph.D., interim dean of Seton Hall’s College of Communication and the Arts. “She has helped convey countless powerful stories that touch our lives, while exercising the highest journalistic standards through her lengthy and rich career. Her identity as a woman of color in a field historically dominated by men is a beacon of hope for many young people studying sports media at Seton Hall.”
The University’s undergraduate program in sports media has been growing tremendously in the past few years, and the University has committed to expanding the resources and opportunities for its students. In May, former ESPN reporter and columnist Jane McManus was tapped as the Center’s inaugural Executive Director. The Center hosts guest professionals in the classroom, panel talks, and conferences. It helps students build robust portfolios, often covering events and stories about the BIG EAST athletes. The Center also gives students the opportunity to network with top professionals in the field, land internships, and find top jobs when they graduate.
“At the Center for Sports Media, we are connecting the next generation of sports media professionals with the tools they need to lead and succeed in a competitive industry,” McManus said. “Although our faculty is unparalleled, we couldn’t do it without shining examples of women and men in the field who have reported with dignity and empathy. Robin Roberts is one of those examples, and we’re thrilled she will be joining us to officially launch the Center.”
McManus spent nearly 10 years at ESPN covering the NFL and as a columnist for espnW, and in 2018 became the director of the Center for Sports Communication at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. She was also an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where she received her Masters.
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One of the country’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall has been showing the world what great minds can do since 1856. Home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 90 rigorous academic programs, Seton Hall’s academic excellence has been singled out for distinction by The Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report, and Bloomberg Businessweek.
Seton Hall embraces students of all religions and prepares them to be exemplary servant leaders and global citizens. In recent years, the University has achieved extraordinary success. Since 2009, it has seen record-breaking undergraduate enrollment growth and an impressive 110-point increase in the average SAT scores of incoming freshmen. In the past decade, Seton Hall students and alumni have received more than 30 Fulbright Scholarships as well as other prestigious academic honors, including Boren Awards, Pickering Fellowships, Udall Scholarships, and a Rhodes Scholarship. The University is also proud to be among the most diverse national Catholic universities in the country.
PHOTO: ABC/Danny Weiss