Honorary Degree Citation
Dan B. Harris. Chronicler of our times. Your arrival on Mayflower Hill was a herald of your keen observer’s eye. Your thoughts were of an urban campus until you saw Colby, but on first sight you knew this was the college for you. You honed your reporter’s skills in these halls and stayed in Maine to begin your career in television journalism at NBC affiliates in Bangor and Portland. But the local stage was not to be yours. After a brief stint as an anchor for New England Cable News, you moved to ABC News in 2000. Your ABC career has placed you at the center of momentous events—at Ground Zero in the wake of the devastating attacks of 9/11, in Afghanistan and Iraq as American troops fought and died, in Israel and the Occupied Territories as a new order was sought, on the presidential campaign trail as the nation chose its leader. For your work you have been honored with a regional Emmy, an Associated Press award, and a duPont Prize. But perhaps the greatest accolade has come from your editor and mentor, Peter Jennings, who said succinctly, “Any broadcast with Dan Harris on it is bound to be a better broadcast.” When you returned to Colby last year, to tell a Goldfarb Center forum of your experience as a young journalist in the field, our students heard a voice that resonates for them—with candor, a perspective to which they can relate, self-deprecating humor, and, most of all, honesty. Sharing your alma mater’s pride in your accomplishments, they chose you as their commencement speaker.
By the authority of the Board of Trustees of Colby College, I confer upon you, Dan B. Harris, the degrees of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa. The hood with which you have been invested and the diploma which I place in your hand are the visible symbols of your membership in the society of scholars, to all the rights and privileges of which I declare you entitled.
Conferred May 22, 2005
Dan Harris ’93 is a correspondent for ABC News, based in New York. He reports for World News Tonight With Peter Jennings, Good Morning America, and Nightline. Harris has covered many of the biggest stories in recent years. He’s reported from New York’s Ground Zero, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Israel, and Iraq. Prior to joining ABC News in 2000, Harris was an anchor at New England Cable News, the largest regional cable news network in the country, from 1997 to 2000. Before that he was an anchor and political reporter at WCSH, an NBC affiliate in Portland, for two years. He began his broadcasting career as a reporter for WLBZ, the NBC affiliate in Bangor. For his journalistic achievements Harris has won an Associated Press Award for political coverage, a regional Emmy for feature stories, and an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for in-depth coverage.