Last week, Pulitzer-Prize winning College of Media alumna Margie Mason (BSJ, 1997) shared words of wisdom and inspiration with students at this year’s May Commencement Ceremony. Mason, a reporter for the Associated Press, acted as the event’s keynote speaker. She addressed nearly 300 College of Media graduates on May 12 at the WVU Coliseum.
During the ceremony, Mason was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Letters for her achievement of international preeminence in her field and distinguished contributions to society.
Mason drew on personal experience to provide advice to the 2017 graduating class and encouraged students to take pride in their new alma mater.
“Never forget where you come from. Your roots are here at WVU. Never let anyone make you feel ashamed of that,” said Mason. “You’ve earned your place. You’ve been given everything you need to succeed, and for that, you are truly fortunate.”
Mason also emphasized the significance of education and encouraged graduates to take pride in their accomplishments.
“So many others in this country and overseas can only dream of sitting where you are today,” said Mason. “This piece of paper, this education you are leaving here with, it is power. Do not squander it. Take it and make your mark.”
Last year, Mason and three colleagues earned the AP’s first Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Public Service for their 18-month investigation of slavery and severe labor abuses tied to the supply of seafood to American supermarkets and restaurants. As a result of their work, more than 2,000 slaves were freed, dozens of alleged perpetrators were arrested and new legislation was formed in the U.S. barring imports of slave-produced goods.
Get an inside look at the ceremony:
- View the photos
- Watch a full video of the ceremony