National News Correspondent Bill Whitaker ’73 is currently in Haiti, covering the aftermath of the earthquake and the recovery of additional survivors, now 12 days after the earthquake and about nine days later than anyone is expected to survive trapped. In a story on January 26, he reported on thousands of Haitians trying to flee to the United States.
The story, “Haitians Need Shelter, Flee to U.S.,” is available online with his other reports.
Whitaker, of Los Angeles, Calif., is a graduate of Hobart College and a member of the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Board of Trustees. He has had a successful career in television journalism since his graduation. Since 1984, he has covered many of the major breaking news events and issues of the day, including the pro-democracy uprising in Tienanmen Square in Beijing, the Persian Gulf War, the Unabomber case, the O.J. Simpson murder and civil trials, the Columbine school shootings, and the presidential campaign of George W. Bush.
In 1999, Whitaker received an Emmy Award for a segment he did for “48 Hours.” He was honored at the Minorities in Broadcasting Program seventh annual “Striving for Excellence Awards.” He is also engaged in his community. Whitaker has been active in adult literacy tutoring programs and he and his family have served meals in homeless shelters.
Whitaker has remained connected to his Geneva alma mater. He has been a well-received speaker at campus events throughout the years. In 1994 and 1999, he both opened and then closed the more than $100 million capital campaign as the master of ceremonies at the campaign celebrations. In 1997, he was awarded an honorary degree by the Colleges for his service.
Whitaker earned a master’s degree from Boston University in African-American studies. He also attended the master of journalism program at the University of California at Berkeley.