Chestertown, MD, December 10, 2001 — Media giant Ted Turner and former United Nations Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke will be honored at Washington College's Washington's Birthday Convocation on Saturday, February 16, 2002. The Convocation will be held at 2 p.m. in the College's Tawes Theatre. A reception will follow in the Gallery of the Casey Academic Center.
Ever unconventional, controversial and forward-looking, R. E. "Ted" Turner is many things to many people—yachtsman, television tycoon, newsman, freethinker and multi-billionaire philanthropist. As a supporter of a number of humanitarian causes, Mr. Turner founded the United Nations Foundation with a $1 billion grant and the Goodwill Games, an international, world-class, quadrennial, multi-sport competition. Mr. Turner is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees, industry awards and civic honors, including being named Time magazine's 1991 Man of the Year and Broadcasting & Cable's Man of the Century in 1999.
Mr. Turner spent nearly 30 years building Turner Broadcasting System into one of the nation's largest media conglomerates, CNN-- the world's first live, in-depth, round-the-clock news television network. The company merged with Time Warner in 1996. Mr. Turner now serves as Vice Chairman and Senior Adviser of AOL Time Warner.
In his latest effort to promote world peace and international cooperation, Mr. Turner founded the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) in January 2001, pledging at least $250 million over five years--among the largest sums any private individual has ever invested in these security issues. He co-chairs the foundation with former Senator Sam Nunn.
An astute businessman, Mr. Turner began his career as an account executive for Turner Advertising Company, later to become the Turner Broadcasting System. He bought his first television station in 1970 and later purchased major league baseball's Atlanta Braves. Mr. Turner pioneered the "superstation" concept, transmitting a station's signal to cable systems nationwide via satellite. He founded the cable channels TNT, Cartoon Network and Turner Classic Movies (TCM), a 24-hour commercial-free network, and he expanded Turner Broadcasting's news division with the creation of CNNRadio, CNN Airport Network and a 24-hour sports network.
Richard C. Holbrooke, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is a veteran diplomat now heading up a new task force on terrorism created by the Council on Foreign Relations. The former U.S. ambassador to Germany and Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs was the chief architect of the 1995 Dayton Peace Accord that ended the war in Bosnia. In recognition of his efforts, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He later served as President Clinton's special envoy to the Balkans during the crisis in Kosovo.
Ambassador Holbrooke began his career as a Foreign Service Officer immediately after graduating from Brown University in 1962. He was sent to Vietnam and in the following six years served in several posts--first in the Mekong Delta as a provincial representative for the Agency for International Development (AID), and then as staff assistant to Ambassadors Maxwell Taylor and Henry Cabot Lodge. In 1966 he was reassigned to the White House on President Johnson's staff, and later served on the American Delegation to the Paris Peace Talks on Vietnam.
Ambassador Holbrooke was Peace Corps Director in Morocco for two years, and in 1972 became managing editor of the quarterly journal Foreign Policy. Under President Carter's administration he was Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. During his tenure in the East Asia Bureau, the United States established full diplomatic relations with China. He was chairman of Refugees International from 1996 to 1999 and was twice a member of the board of the International Rescue Committee. Currently, Ambassador Holbrooke serves on the board of directors of Human Genome Sciences, Inc., a biotechnology company that grew out of the Human Genome Project. He is the author of "To End a War", which The New York Times selected as one of the eleven best books of 1998, and co-author of "Counsel to the President", the best-selling memoirs of Clark Clifford.
In recognition of their career achievements and public service, both Mr. Turner and Ambassador Holbrooke will receive honorary Doctor of Law degrees from the College.