MLK Campus Commemoration Inspires

Talley Student Union view from elevator

Students walk on campus by the Talley Student Union. Photo by Marc Hall

Byron Pitts of ABC’s Nightline graced the NC State campus with his encouraging message on Monday, January 11, 2016 for this year’s MLK commemoration. With over 30 years of experience, Pitts shared his message of “overcoming to become” and paying it forward for the campus listeners. Before Pitts went on stage, the African American Cultural Center and Student Media held a small lunch for aspiring journalism and media students.

Pitts told attendees the story of when he covered Ground Zero after 9/11. A frantic man on the phone watched the news, desperate to hear from his wife, who was working in the World Trade Center. Pitts said at that moment, he realized that reporting is not about you. As a reporter, you have a responsibility to give people an unbiased story that is told correctly.

To the students, Pitts stated that we are afforded opportunities people dream of when we are here on a college campus. When someone asks you what you are doing, tell them you are “living the dream.” He mentions that “every dream has an address” — you have to know where you currently are to know how to get where you are going. Overcoming his educational challenges as a child, Pitts spoke about how he and his mother prayed about his dream to work for 60 Minutes before he was 45 years old. He was the co-anchor for 60 minutes at age 44 and went on to host ABC’s Nightline years later. That’s a dream with an address!

O’Licia Parker-Smith is a second-year student in Communication. She is also a communications intern in the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity.