William & Mary and images of its historic campus were the backdrop of a national interview that was broadcast Wednesday on “CBS This Morning.”
Charlie Rose, co-host of the CBS program, came to William & Mary last weekend to conduct an interview with alumnus and former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates ’65. Gates was on campus to take part in Commencement weekend activities, including Sunday’s ceremony.
Rose, an Emmy award winning journalist and longtime host of the PBS talk show “Charlie Rose,” interviewed Gates in the Great Hall of the College’s historic Sir Christopher Wren Building. The entire interview aired on PBS Wednesday night.
"We are sitting here on a campus created in 1693," Rose said during the interview. "It is full of history."
The CBS segment featured footage of Gates and Rose walking outside the Wren Building and also of the Chancellor welcoming graduates during the Commencement ceremony in William & Mary Hall. The interview covered everything from Gates’ assessment of the country’s current national security to an insider’s take on the killing of Osama bin Laden to the differences between President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.
Gates retired in June 2011 after serving since 2006 as head of the U.S. Department of Defense. He is the only defense secretary in the nation’s history to serve two presidents from different political parties – serving under former President Bush and President Obama. Prior to becoming defense secretary, he served in numerous capacities in the Executive Branch and worked for eight presidents. He is also the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency. From 2002 to 2006, Gates was president of Texas A&M University.
At William & Mary’s 2012 Charter Day ceremony, Gates was invested as Chancellor, an honorary position with a long tradition at the university. He succeeded U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
Rose concluded the CBS segment by reminding viewers about William & Mary’s place in American history as the nation’s second-oldest college. He also reminded viewers that Gates, as Chancellor, follows a distinguished group of individuals, including the College’s first American Chancellor, George Washington. Rose also mentioned that both Thomas Jefferson and Jon Stewart are alumni from William & Mary.
“CBS This Morning,” with co-hosts Rose, Gayle King and Erica Hill, launched earlier this year as the network’s new morning program, replacing “The Early Show.” It airs from 7-9 a.m. each weekday morning on all local CBS affiliates and has a national audience of more than 2.5 million viewers. “Charlie Rose” airs nightly at various times on PBS channels across the country. The program will replay at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.