Honoree

Bill Whitaker

AWARDS

Bicentennial Medal (2019)

BIOGRAPHY

Bill Whitaker graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges with a B.A. in American History, and received an M.A. in African-American studies from Boston University. Whitaker also earned an M.A. in Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 1997.

Whitaker has been a correspondent for CBS's "60 Minutes" for five seasons. In four decades as a journalist, he has covered many major news stories domestically and across the globe for CBS news. His domestic reporting is known for keen insights into the hot-button issue of race and policing in America, including the opioid epidemic, immigration procedures and police use of force and capital punishment. He has also covered several presidential campaigns, including Mitt Romney's presidential campaign and the 2000 presidential campaign of George W. Bush. Whitaker's 60 Minutes reporting has taken him all over the world, including Asia, Africa, Europe, Mexico and the Middle East. Whitaker served as CBS News' Tokyo correspondent (1989-92) where he covered stories throughout Asia, including the pro-democracy uprising in Tiananmen Square and military coup attempts in the Philippines. Prior to that, Whitaker was based in Atlanta (1985-88), where he covered the 1988 presidential campaign of Michael Dukakis and won an Emmy for his reporting on the collapse of Jim and Tammy Bakker's television evangelism program.  

Whitaker has won countless honors and awards throughout his career. He has received the DuPont-Columbia University award, the Peabody, an Emmy, and an RTDNA Murrow award. In 2015, Former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton, a distinguished scholar in Indiana University's Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, presented Whitaker with the Lee H. Hamilton Public Service Fellowship. He is also the 2018 winner of the RTDNA's highest honor, the Paul White Award for career achievement. In 2019, Whitaker received Indiana University's Bicentennial Medal in recognition of his distinguished service and contributions to the university.