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Byron Pitts Encourages FAMU Students to Dream Big
School of Journalism and Graphic Communication (SJGC) Dean James Hawkins (second from right on the back row) takes a photo with members of the SJGC Board of Visitors.

October 20, 2011

– CBS “60 Minutes” correspondent Byron Pitts told the up-and-coming journalists of Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) School of Journalism and Graphic Communication to “do you” during the CBS Harold Dow Professor Luncheon on Friday, October 14 at Hotel Duval.
“Be the best that you can be,” he stressed to them. “Be excited about life and all of its opportunities.”
Pitts served as keynote speaker during the event, which was also an official welcome for the inaugural CBS Harold Dow Visiting Professor Benjamin Davis. Davis is a two-time Columbia-Alfred du Pont award winner who has 30 years of experience working for major broadcast companies such as NBC Universal, ABC, CBS, Fox and National Public Radio.
The position was named after long-time CBS News Correspondent Harold Dow, who died in August 2010.
Davis described the position that bears Dow’s name as standing in a giant’s footprint because of the legacy that Dow left on the field of journalism.

“FAMU is the mother load of students looking for success,” said Davis. “At the end of the day, I hope to help produce good journalists. I have to imagine what Harold Dow would expect and then I push (the students) a little further. He has a giant’s footprint.”

CBS officials announced last year they would donate funds to support hiring a visiting professor as part of their diversity initiative and as a tribute to Dow.

“Harold was my friend and mentor,” said Susan Zirinsky, executive producer for CBS 48 hours and Dow’s former supervisor. “There wasn’t a single story that he didn’t see the merit. It was more than losing a colleague — it was losing a member of the CBS family.”
FAMU President James H. Ammons said he was grateful to CBS for investing in the university.
“CBS wouldn’t put this professorship anywhere,” he said during the luncheon. “They put it at Florida A&M University because of its tradition of academic excellence. The students at the
School of Journalism and Graphic Communication are indeed fortunate. We have somebody special. We got it right.”

Dow’s widow, Kathy Dow, also attended the luncheon.  She gave the students advice that she felt her late-husband would give.
“Always remember to dream big,” she said with tears in her eyes. “Be disciplined; be determined.”

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