TCU’s trustees made probably the easiest decision they’ve ever had to make last week when they voted to amend the name of the College of Communication to honor alumnus Bob Schieffer, host of Face the Nation on CBS and a former reporter for the Star-Telegram.
It was unanimous, of course. Who doesn’t like and respect Schieffer?
It often seems the people you see on TV are only playing a part, but upon meeting Schieffer, you’ll find he’s exactly the person you hoped he’d be — warm, engaging and friendly.
Although he certainly has the success and credentials to affect a “big time” attitude, he never does. He’s as genuinely nice to the average citizen as he is to those in the national spotlight.
Actually, he’s the personification of Fort Worth.
Although he wasn’t born here (he was born in Austin), he got here as fast as he could and graduated from North Side High School and TCU.
After a stint as a cops reporter for the Star-Telegram, he got his first taste of national and international news by covering the Kennedy assassination and the Vietnam War for the paper.
He got into television as the nightly anchor for what was then WBAP/Channel 5. In 1969, he joined CBS, where he covered the White House and Pentagon before serving as anchor of the Saturday and Sunday night news shows. He became host of Face the Nation in 1991.
TCU renamed its journalism school for Schieffer in 2004. Now his name will headline the College of Communication, which includes the Department of Communication Studies; the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media; and the School of Journalism and Strategic Communication.
The change should give TCU leverage in recruiting and fundraising, and it moves the College of Communication into an elite group of named institutions like the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.
Schieffer had hoped to succeed the legendary Cronkite as chief anchor at CBS when he retired in 1980 but lost out to Dan Rather, although he did take over temporarily in 2005 when Rather was ousted after a controversial report on President George W. Bush’s military service.
Here’s another chance for Schieffer to succeed Cronkite as TCU aims to become the best communications school in the country.