Peter Maer will speak at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in an event called “My Journey from Granite City to the White House” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Peter Maer is going back to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
This time, the Granite City native and SIUE graduate will share his memories as CBS News White House correspondent in an event called “My Journey from Granite City to the White House” at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Meridian Ballroom at SIUE’s Morris University Center.
“It’s always good to be back home, of course,” Maer said. “Granite City is where my earliest ambitions to be a reporter started. I was a member of the first graduating class of mass communications major at SIUE. I have great memories of both my hometown and my years at SIUE.”
Maer graduated from Granite City High School in 1966. He graduated from SIUE with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications in 1970.
Maer is a five-time recipient of the Merriman Smith Award for presidential coverage and received other honors such as the Edward R. Murrow Award. He twice served as commencement speaker at SIUE and received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from his alma mater.
Maer retired as CBS News White House correspondent in January.
“I’m making speeches and I’m doing a lot of reading and catching up on my own recordings and notes from my many years in reporting and getting together with a lot of friends,” Maer said.
Maer’s journalism career began when he was a student at GCHS.
“I knew from the time when I was a little kid, probably 8 or 9 years old, that I wanted to be a reporter,” Maer said. “I was an avid reader of the old Granite City Press-Record and was the editor in chief of the Granite High World, which was the newspaper at the high school. I worked on newspapers in grade school and my junior high school years. One thing led to another and later on, I decided to go into broadcasting.”
During his high school years, Maer worked at WGNU, then a Granite City radio station. While at SIUE, Maer worked at WIBV, a radio station in Belleville.
Then, Maer headed south.
“I went to a station in Nashville, Tenn., in the early 1970s,” Maer said. “Then, I moved to Atlanta, Ga., to another station, where I was fortunate enough to cover some of the major leaders in the civil rights movement and to cover the state legislature and a guy named Jimmy Carter, who was the governor.”
After Carter was elected president in 1976, Maer was hired by NBC/Mutual Radio to cover the Carter administration. He later moved to Washington, D.C., to cover the U.S. Senate before landing a White House correspondent job at CBS News in 1998.
Maer credits the SIUE mass communications program for his outstanding journalism career.
“I’ve got a number of very great professors at SIU-Edwardsville,” said Maer, who made his last visit at SIUE in 2012. “I’m still in touch with one of them, Professor Jack Shaheen. Another great professor, Kamil Winter, has been a major television anchor in Czechoslovakia. It’s a long story, but he moved to the United States and he really taught us a lot about the world of journalism beyond America and what freedom meant to a guy who left what was then a communist country. Both of them were among the many inspirational teachers I had at SIUE.”
Tickets can be purchased at the SIUE Morris University Welcome Desk, www.artsandissues.com or by phone at (866) 698-4253.