PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson will deliver the 10th annual Casey Shearer Memorial Lecture on Thursday, April 8, 2010, at 6:30 p.m. in the Salomon Center for Teaching, De Ciccio Family Auditorium. The presentation, titled “The View from Washington,” is free and open to the public.
The lectureship, sponsored by Brown University and the Goldway/Shearer family, was established in memory of Casey Shearer, a promising young writer and aspiring sportscaster who died in May 2000, days before he was to graduate from Brown. Previous speakers have included Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer A. Scott Berg, ESPN anchor Chris Berman, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, ABC analyst Cokie Roberts, Marian Wright Edelman of the Children’s Defense Fund, and film director Davis Guggenheim.
Prior to the lecture, the winners of the annual Casey Shearer Memorial Award for Excellence in Creative Nonfiction will be announced.
Mara Liasson is the national political correspondent for NPR. Her reports can be heard regularly on NPR’s award-winning newsmagazines All Things Considered and Morning Edition, and she provides commentary on Fox News during the week. Liasson provides extensive coverage of politics and policy from Washington, D.C. – focusing on the White House and Congress – and also reports on political trends beyond the Beltway.
Each election year, Liasson provides key coverage of the candidates and issues in both presidential and congressional races. During her tenure she has covered five presidential elections — in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008. Prior to her current assignment, Liasson was NPR’s White House correspondent for all eight years of the Clinton administration. She won the White House Correspondents Association’s Merriman Smith Award for daily news coverage in 1994, 1995 and 1997. From 1989 through 1992, Liasson was NPR’s congressional correspondent.
Liasson joined NPR in 1985 as a general assignment reporter and newscaster. From September 1988 to June 1989 she took a leave of absence from NPR to attend Columbia University as a recipient of a Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism. Prior to joining NPR, Liasson was a freelance radio and television reporter in San Francisco. She was also managing editor and anchor of California Edition, a California Public Radio nightly news program, and a print journalist for The Vineyard Gazette in Martha's Vineyard, Mass.
Liasson is a 1977 graduate of Brown University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in American history.
Casey Shearer, a member of the class of 2000, was a vibrant and talented member of the Brown community. An economics concentrator, he also studied Spanish, political science and literature, and helped revive Brown Student Radio (WBSR). He was best known on campus as the station’s play-by-play sports announcer and as the author of the weekly sports column “On the Case,” published in the College Hill Independent.
Shearer was born and raised in Santa Monica, Calif., where his mother, Ruth Goldway, once served as mayor. He graduated from high school in Finland, where his father, Derek Shearer, an Occidental College professor, served as U.S. ambassador. A top student at Brown, Shearer was a member of the economics honor society and received his magna cum laude pin the Friday before he was to graduate. That same day, during a regular pick-up game of basketball, Shearer's heart stopped and he collapsed. Four days later, he died of an undetected heart virus, two months before his 22nd birthday.