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WAMU's Diane Rehm to deliver Shepherd's commencement address; town to receive President's Award

ISSUED: 27 April 2012
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
(WAMU's Diane Rehm to deliver Shepherd's commencement address; town to receive President's Award)

Shepherdstown, WV--Public radio talk show host Diane Rehm will deliver the commencement address at Shepherd University's 139th graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 5. Rehm also will be awarded an honorary doctorate.

The Corporation of Shepherdstown will be presented the President's Award in recognition of the 250th anniversary of the founding of Shepherdstown and for the service and support given to Shepherd University and the broader Shepherd community. The President's Award annually recognizes those in the community who demonstrate selfless civic involvement, and no entity is more deserving than the town which Shepherd University calls its home. The great accomplishments Shepherd has realized during its more than 140-year existence would not have been possible without the encouragement and support of the town, including its elected leaders, residents, and business owners.

Diane Rehm is a native Washingtonian who began her radio career in 1973 as a volunteer producer for WAMU 88.5, the National Public Radio member-station in Washington, D.C. She was hired as an assistant producer and later became the host and producer of two health-oriented programs. In 1979, she began hosting WAMU's local morning talk show, Kaleidoscope, which was renamed The Diane Rehm Show in 1984.

Each week, more than 2.3 million listeners across the country tune in to The Diane Rehm Show, which has grown from a local morning call-in show to one of public broadcasting's most popular programs.

The Diane Rehm Show is produced at WAMU 88.5 and distributed by NPR, NPR Worldwide, and SIRIUS XM satellite radio. It can be heard on more than 160 stations nationwide. The program is also broadcast in Germany, Japan, and Finland, and is available on U.S. military installations worldwide on the Armed Forces Network.

The Diane Rehm Show was named to the Top 10 list of the most powerful programs in public radio for 2007 and 2008, based on its ability to draw listeners to public radio stations. It is the only live call-in talk show on the list. In 2010, Rehm won a Peabody award--widely considered one of the most prestigious and selective honors in electronic media-for her more than 30 years in public broadcasting.

Rehm is a successful author of three autobiographical books: Finding My Voice (Knopf, 1999), in which she describes her childhood, marriage, career, and voice disorder; Toward Commitment: A Dialogue about Marriage (Knopf, 2002), a deeply personal book co-authored by her husband, John; and her most recent book written about her beloved dog, Life With Maxie (Gibbs Smith, 2010).

Rehm has been named Washingtonian of the Year, one of Washington's 100 Most Powerful Women, and one of the 150 Most Influential People in Washington by Washingtonian magazine. She also has been included several times on the magazine's list of the 100 Most Powerful Women, most recently in 2011.

Rehm has received many honors and awards in her 30-year career, including the inaugural Urbino (Italy) Press Award and the International Matrix Award from the Association for Women in Communications. She was named a fellow by the Society of Professional Journalists--the highest honor the society bestows on a journalist--for extraordinary contributions to the profession. In 2011, she received the Excellence in Journalism Award from the American News Women's Club.

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