For release: December 9, 2010
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901/678-2843
Chris Peck, editor of The Commercial Appeal, will address graduates at the winter commencement of the University of Memphis on
Saturday, Dec. 18, at FedExForum. The University will award 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 will
At 2 p.m., Commencement will be held for the Fogelman College of Business & Economics,
the College of Education, 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