Cleveland State University joins the nation and the world in mourning the untimely death of alumnus Tim Russert, who graduated from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, with honors, in 1976.
Russert returned to CSU in February as emcee of the Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate with Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton, hosted by the University in the Wolstein Center. He also provided debate commentary on two editions of the NBC Evening News with Brian Williams, also broadcast from the Wolstein Center.
His visits to campus as a classroom speaker were eagerly anticipated by students and faculty alike.
Perhaps the law school's most visible graduate, Russert was named an Outstanding Alumnus in 2004 and received an honorary doctor of laws in 2007. He served on the College of Law's National Advisory Council and for many years co-chaired the annual fund drive.
A native of Buffalo, N.Y. and the first in his family to attend college, Russert graduated from John Carroll University in 1972 before attending CSU.
He joined NBC News in 1984 and steadily advanced. Most recently he served as Managing Editor and Moderator of Meet the Press (the most watched Sunday morning interview program in America and the most quoted news program in the world), political analyst for NBC Nightly News and the Today show, Senior Vice President and Washington Bureau Chief of NBC News, anchor of The Tim Russert Show on CNBC and contributing anchor for MSNBC.
“Our University family has lost one of its own and our students, faculty and staff deeply grieve his passing,” said CSU President Michael Schwartz. “Tim was a renowned broadcast journalist who used his keen mind, inquisitive nature and political savvy to inform the world by presenting diverse points of view with balance and clarity and holding the powerful accountable for their decisions and actions.
“Despite his schedule, he generously shared his time and talent with our Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. His courageous and conscientious journalism brought him many prestigious awards; he always would attribute his success to his education, particularly the legal skills he honed on our campus,” said Dr. Schwartz.
“Tim sought the truth in a straight-talking, no-nonsense manner, and his wit, genial manner and everyman persona endeared him to everyone on campus as well as his legion of television viewers.”
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