Award-winning journalist Candy Crowley to visit IU Southeast


Candy Crowley, award-winning journalist and former chief political correspondent for CNN, will speak at IU Southeast on Monday, Feb. 29 from 6 to 7 p.m., as part of the Sanders Speaker Series.

Kristin Kennedy, News Editor

Going into its seventh year, the Sanders Speaker Series will feature Candy Crowley, award-winning journalist and former chief political correspondent for CNN.

Crowley will speak on Monday, Feb. 29 from 6 to 7 p.m. in Stem Concert Hall in the Ogle Center. The event is free and open to the community.

According to a press release from IU Southeast, Crowley has interviewed Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney. Crowley won an Emmy in 2003, she received the Edward R. Murrow Award in 2005 and she has received other awards for her work, the release said.

Crowley worked for CNN for 27 years, according to a story from the Huffington Post. The story said that in addition to serving as CNN’s chief political correspondent, Crowley was the host of the network’s talk show “State of the Union,” which covers political topics in the news.

Jay White, dean of the School of Business and associate professor of finance, said he helped choose Crowley as this year’s keynote speaker of the Sanders Speaker Series. White said it was almost a year-long process to make the decision.

“We convene a committee,” White said. “By the end of summer, we try to have a list of three or four names. Candy, her name came up.”

Uric Dufrene, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, said he is part of the Sanders Speaker Series committee that helped choose Crowley as the keynote speaker for the 2016 Sanders Speaker Series event.

Dufrene said he provided a list of possible speakers from his research, and he and White brainstormed other potential speakers. He said the School of Business reduced the list and ultimately recommended Crowley.

Dufrene said one reason Crowley was chosen was because she has been a leading political journalist.

“2016 is a national election year, and so this was an ideal time to bring someone in with her caliber and background,” Dufrene said.

White said the Sanders Speaker Series committee members believed Crowley was a good choice, especially since the day after her visit – Tuesday, March 1 – is Super Tuesday, when several states have caucuses and primaries.

“With her expertise in the political arena, it’s excellent timing,” White said.

Dufrene said the opportunity to listen to speakers, such as Crowley, is part of the educational experience at IU Southeast.

2016 is a national election year, and so this was an ideal time to bring someone in with her caliber and background.

— Uric Dufrene, Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

“Extracurricular activities and academic experiences external to the classroom are just as vital as the classroom toward the development of any future graduate,” Dufrene said. “This falls in that category.”

White said information about the event was sent to all faculty members, so they could make their students aware of Crowley’s visit. He also said students in first-year seminar courses could attend Crowley’s speech as part of their requirement to write about a campus-related event.

Rhonda Wrzenski, assistant professor of political science, said she has been notifying her students about the event and encouraging them to attend.

“I teach at the same time as the event so I am currently deciding whether to take my evening section to the event,” Wrzenski said.

Wrzenski said she believes Crowley has provided insightful political commentary throughout her tenure of covering political campaigns.

“Faculty who teach political communications or election courses can find this coverage beneficial when discussing current events in the college classroom,” Wrzenski said. “Candy is also a female commentator in a world that has historically been dominated by men, and this component can be of interest to scholars who examine women in the political realm.”

White said students who attend will have the opportunity to ask Crowley questions during her lecture, and he said this could be an educational opportunity for them, particularly when it comes to politics.

“Hopefully they will be able to make better-informed decisions when they vote,” White said.

Judge Carlton and Sue Sanders started an endowment to fund the Sanders Speaker Series, Dufrene said. He said the series allows IU Southeast to attract nationally-known speakers that students can learn from.

“The Sanders Speaker Series and the quality of speakers we’ve been able to attract help raise the profile of IU Southeast,” Dufrene said. “IU Southeast is a community asset, and we want the community to always feel welcomed here for events such as the Sanders Speaker Series. This event was created for IU Southeast and also the broader community that we serve.”

White said he thanks the Sanders for making Candy’s visit possible by creating the Sanders Speaker Series endowment.

Dufrene said he looks forward to the Sanders Speaker Series each year, and he believes the student body should plan to attend Crowley’s speech.

“It is not often that one has an opportunity to listen to and interact with a leading political journalist in a presidential election year,” Dufrene said. “She will have perspectives, insights and experiences that not many people can talk about.”