William & Mary’s 2009 Commencement was featured on the June 8 broadcast of the "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams." While universities from across the country were included in the annual wrap-up, William & Mary received prime billing - in no small thanks to this year’s keynote speaker – Tom Brokaw. Brokaw spent more than 20 years as the anchor of the "Nightly News," turning over the reins to Williams in 2004.
Guided by University Relations staff, an NBC news crew spent the better part of Commencement Day (May 17) with the senior class gathering campus footage and getting a feeling for William & Mary’s traditions. Like the stalwart seniors, the crew was not daunted by the torrential downpours that blanketed the Williamsburg sky.
Williams called the segment an "annual favorite" and noted that the highlights were culled from footage sent from more than 230 colleges and universities from across the country. The four-minute piece, which closed the newscast, featured an excerpt from Brokaw’s remarks.
"We may not have given you a perfect world, but we have given you dynamic opportunities for leaving a lasting legacy as a generation that was fearless and imaginative, tireless and selfless in pursuit of solutions to these monumental problems," said Brokaw.
Other speakers included in the segment include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former first lady Laura Bush, Actress Laura Linney and President Barack Obama.
NBC's nationally broadcasted segment also included a brief comment from a William & Mary graduate and some footage of campus – including the traditional walk across campus and the iconic Crim Dell Bridge. Not surprisingly, one or two umbrellas dotted the footage.