No stranger to New Orleans, Emmy-award winning journalist Anderson Cooper will return to the Big Easy in May, this time as the keynote speaker for Commencement 2010 at Tulane University.
Cooper, the anchor of "Anderson Cooper 360°" on CNN and a sometime contributor to CBS News' "60 Minutes," showed dedication to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, spending a month bearing witness to the tragedy and returning more than 20 times since to highlight the recovery and renaissance of the city.
His refusal to let New Orleans' story fade away prompted Tulane President Scott Cowen to call him "a favorite of New Orleanians and many Tulanians," adding that his address to the graduating class "will no doubt be one of the highlights of this semester."
Cooper and "Anderson Cooper 360°" have won several major journalism awards, including multiple Emmy awards. He also has earned a National Headliners Award for his tsunami coverage; an Emmy Award for his contribution to ABC's coverage of Princess Diana's funeral; a silver plaque from the Chicago International Film Festival for his report from Sarajevo on the Bosnian civil war; a bronze Telly for his coverage of famine in Somalia; a bronze award from the National Educational Film and Video Festival for a report on political Islam; and a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding TV Journalism for his "20/20 Downtown" report on high school athlete Corey Johnson.
In addition to his television reporting, Dispatches from the Edge, Cooper's memoir about covering the South Asia tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and other news events, topped The New York Times Bestsellers List and other bestseller charts.
Cooper joins a distinguished list of commencement speakers who continue to support the city since Katrina, starting with Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton in 2006, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams in 2007, political strategists James Carville and Mary Matalin in 2008, and New Orleans native and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres in 2009.