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May 2010 Commencement
December 2010 Commencement

Commercial Appeal Editor Chris Peck Addresses U of M Graduates

Chris Peck
Chris Peck

Chris Peck, editor of The Commercial Appeal, addressed graduates at the winter Commencement of the University of Memphis on Saturday, Dec. 18, at FedExForum. The University awarded a total of 1,466 degrees, including 36 doctorates, in two ceremonies.

In a 10 a.m. ceremony, the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Communication and Fine Arts, the University College, and the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law conferred degrees.

At 2 p.m., Commencement was held for the Fogelman College of Business & Economics, the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences, the Herff College of Engineering, the Loewenberg School of Nursing, and the School of Public Health.

Peck has been editor of The Commercial Appeal since 2003. He oversees all news operations and directs a staff of approximately 110 reporters, editors and photographers. The Commercial Appeal has been published continuously since 1840 and is the largest newspaper in the Mid-South, with a daily circulation of 125,000 and a Sunday circulation of 150,000.

Peck came to Memphis after serving as the first Belo Distinguished Chair of Journalism at Southern Methodist University. Before that, he was editor of The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash. Under his direction, The Spokesman-Review was cited by the Columbia Journalism Review as one of the 25 best newspapers in the United States.

At The Commercial Appeal, Peck has focused on strengthening ties between the newspaper and the diverse communities of Memphis. He has continued the newspaper’s tradition of strong local investigative and enterprise reporting. In 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2010 The Commercial Appeal won the General Excellence Award from the Tennessee Press Association as the best daily newspaper in the state. Peck’s column also has been cited as best personal commentary in Tennessee three years in a row.

Peck grew up in a newspaper family in Wyoming. His first job, at age 11, was as janitor of the family newspaper, The Riverton Ranger. His brother continues to publish the family paper today.

Peck is a 1972 graduate of Stanford University, where he was a writer and editor for The Stanford Daily. He also studied at Northwestern University in the Media Management Center’s Advanced Executive Program.

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Peck Video: watch Mr. Peck's address to the graduates
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