Amanpour and Shriver to headline 2012 Commencement ceremonies

Author, journalist and former California first lady Maria Shriver (pictured, right) and ABC global affairs anchor Christiane Amanpour (left) will speak at the School of Communication and School of Journalism Commencement satellite ceremonies, respectively, on May 11. 

"We are extremely delighted that both Maria Shriver and Christiane Amanpour will join us in celebrating the many accomplishments of our 2012 graduating class" Dean Ernest J. Wilson III said. "We know that our newest alumni will be excited to hear from these accomplished and inspirational women."

Shriver is a mother of four, a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning journalist and producer, a six-time New York Times best-selling author, and an influential voice on the shifting roles, emerging power and evolving needs of women in modern life. Shriver was California’s trailblazing First Lady from 2003 to 2010. Her work is driven by her belief that all of us have the ability to be what she calls Architects of Change -- people who see a problem in their own life or the community around them, then step out of their comfort zone and do what it takes to create the solution. She herself is dedicated to creating empowering initiatives, transformative events, inspirational awards, and the groundbreaking series of Shriver Reports that chronicle and explore seismic shifts in the American culture and society today.

Shriver's daughter Katherine Schwarzenegger (B.A. Communication '12), author of Rock What You've Got: Secrets to Loving Your Inner and Outer Beauty from Someone Who's Been There and Back, will be in attendance as a graduating senior.

Amanpour is the global affairs anchor at ABC News, as well as host of “Amanpour” and chief international correspondent for CNN International. Her illustrious career in journalism spans three decades. When she became an international correspondent for CNN in 1990, her first major assignment was covering the Gulf War. She has since reported from the world’s major hotspots, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Somalia, Israel, the Palestinian territories, Asia, Rwanda, the Balkans, and the U.S. during Hurricane Katrina. She has interviewed most of the top world leaders over the past two decades, including securing the only interview with Hosni Mubarak and an exclusive with Muammar Ghadafi during the Arab Spring. She has received every major broadcast award, including an inaugural Television Academy Award, nine News and Documentary Emmys, four George Foster Peabody Awards, and nine honorary degrees. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, and an Honorary Citizen of Sarajevo.

Amanpour will also speak at the USC's main Commencement earlier on May 11. For up-to-date information about USC Annenberg's Commencement ceremonies, please visit

Watch the Annenberg TV News coverage
USC Annenberg Commencement information
USC Commencement information