Former New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Bob Herbert to Speak at the Columbia University School of Social Work Commencement

January 27, 2012 @ 10:04 pm

Bob Herbert will address graduating master’s and doctoral students of the Columbia University School of Social Work at their commencement ceremony on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at the Beacon Theater at 2:00pm.

“We are delighted that Bob Herbert will be our Commencement speaker this year. In the U.S., he is an icon who has courageously raised incisive questions about important social and political issues in the immediate landscape of American life through his New York Times column and now through his association with Demos,” says Dean Jeanette Takamura. “These are issues that resonate with the social work profession. They are issues around which many of our faculty have participated in national discourse at the highest levels based upon their ongoing research. We look forward with great anticipation to Bob Herbert’s message to the Class of 2012 and their families and loved ones.”

Bob Herbert joined Demos, a national think-tank in New York City, as a Distinguished Senior Fellow after an 18-year career at the The New York Times as an Op-Ed columnist.  While at the Times, he wrote about some of the most controversial and defining issues of our time, including the Iraq war, poverty, American politics, racism, and urban affairs.

His career began in 1970 as a reporter, then night city editor in 1973, of The Star-Ledger in Newark, NJ.  Mr. Herbert joined the The Daily News beginning in 1976.  His positions at The Daily News included general assignment reporter, national correspondent, consumer affairs editor, city hall bureau chief, and city editor.  In 1985, he became a columnist and a member of the Editorial Board.  His column continued to appear in The Daily News until February 1993.

Mr. Herbert expanded his reporting expertise to broadcast in 1990 as a founding panelist of Sunday Edition, a weekly discussion program on WCBS-TV.  He was also the host of Hotline, a weekly hour-long issues program on WNYC-TV.  Mr. Herbert later became the national correspondent for NBC and reported regularly on The Today Showand NBC Nightly News.

He has won numerous awards, including the Meyer Berger Award for coverage of New York City, the American Society of Newspaper Editors award for distinguished newspaper writing, the David Nyhan Prize from the Shorenstein Center at Harvard University for excellence in political reporting, and the Ridenhour Courage Prize for the “fearless articulation of unpopular truths.”

Born in Brooklyn, Mr. Herbert earned a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the State University of New York (Empire State College).  He has taught journalism at Brooklyn College and the Columbia University School of Journalism.

The Columbia University commencement exercises will be held from 10:30am to 12:00pm in front of Low Memorial Library. The School of Social Work commencement ceremony will be held from 2:00pm to 4:00pm in the Beacon Theater.  For more information, please visit


About CUSSW (
For 112 years, the Columbia University School of Social Work has been a leader in the education of professionals for careers in practice, policy, and administration. Located in New York City, the School offers a master’s and a doctoral program which are nationally and internationally recognized for their excellence. With a signature curriculum that features multidisciplinary courses taught by leading scholars and practitioners and rich Practicum Learning, CUSSW continues to be at the forefront of clinical and community practice, social policy, and social enterprise administration education, research and innovation in the 21st Century.


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