The third time must be the charm for ABC’s Sunday morning talk show anchor, George Stephanopoulos. After rescheduling twice, he was finally able to visit Quinnipiac on Jan. 27 in Alumni Hall.
Prior to his speech, Stephanopoulos answered questions from students and members of the press. When asked to give advice to aspiring journalists, he said, “Sharpen your curiosity. Study as much history and literature as you can while you are in college. Now is the time to broaden your intellectual base and find out what you are interested in. The best journalism comes from having a real passion.”
The former political commentator was greatly anticipated by students, staff and local residents alike. Over the course of his lecture, Stephanopoulos discussed serious issues like politics and the troops in Iraq while also adding a humorous side to his presentation by making jokes about his Greek heritage and tricky last name.
“I know we have had to reschedule this a couple of times, but it is great to be here. You guys have made me feel so welcomed,” Stephanopoulos said. “Most people do not know this, but the Greeks invented politics. The Greek word ‘poly’ means many and the Greek word tics means blood sucking insects.”
Stephanopoulos was awarded the President’s Award from Quinnipiac University President John L. Lahey in recognition of his journalistic talents, ability to bring clarity to political issues and for being a mentor to those who plan to follow in his footsteps.
Commenting on President Bush’s inaugural address, Stephanopoulos said, “The president set out a bold and broad doctrine for the United States. I thought his speech was brilliantly written. I give the president credit for taking on the Social Security plan but there could be challenges and difficulties ahead because things do not always go as planned.”
Junior Worth Bagley said, “I am a communications major and I was very interested because he gave some great advice.” The media production major added, “He interacted with the audience with lighthearted humor and he touched on seriousness. It was well planned out.”
“I thought his speech was really interesting and funny. He sounded very intelligent and knew what he was talking about,” Elisa Agosto said. The freshman journalism major attended the event with several other students to collect information for a class assignment.
A number of students from the Hellenic Society, the on-campus Greek culture organization, were also in attendance to support Stephanopoulos.
In a question and answer session after his fifty minute lecture, Stephanopoulos answered questions regarding the upcoming vote in Iraq and his thoughts about the U.S. soldiers stationed there.
“I admire any Iraqi who will go to vote under these conditions. If elections go well in Iraq, that might create conditions where we can pull troops out. The best we can hope for is that the elections go pretty well. It would be a great thing for Iraq to share power and write a constitution,” Stephanopoulos said.
After retiring as an advisor to former President Bill Clinton, Stephanopoulos was faced with the transition from anticipating interview questions to asking them of others.
“This business is transparent. If people do not believe you, they are not going to watch and you are going to get fired. My job at the end of the day is to help people see the issues for themselves,” Stephanopoulos said.
Stephanopoulos has worked with ABC for eight years and can be found on ABC’s Sunday morning show, ‘This Week.’