Couric hosts Tate Lecture Student Forum
Published: Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
Katie Couric who has interviewed everyone from Bill Gates to Lady Gaga, found herself in the hot seat Tuesday afternoon at the Tate Lecture Student Forum.
SMU and Dallas-area high school students asked the award-winning journalist a variety of questions ranging from her work with cancer advocacy to intimidating interview experiences.
"She was very honest and open about her career," SMU junior John Gray said. "I enjoyed the inspiration and advice that she gave to people our age."
Couric is the most highly anticipated Tate Lecture Series speaker of the 2011 to 2012 season.
When asked if someone that she interviewed has ever intimidated her, Couric said yes.
"Some people are just intimidating, like Ross Perot for example… he was very pugnacious."
People Couric would like to interview – or would like to have interviewed – include Harper Lee, Jackie Kennedy, Princess Diana, Osama bin Laden, Amanda Knox and William and Kate.
Couric's advice to women: "I think sexism still exists to a certain extent… We need to have more women in leadership positions. It's important to not let anything hold you back."
Although Couric spoke passionately about women in leadership positions, she was most passionate when she spoke about her work with cancer advocacy and how to get involved.
"I really thought she was real when she was talking about cancer and the research," Amy Powers, a sixth grade language arts teacher for HPISD, said. "It really made me think more about what I could do to support cancer research."
Couric, who is one of the founders of the organization Stand Up To Cancer, lost both her sister and husband to cancer.
Like any journalist, Couric finds it most important to give her audience accurate information when it comes to reporting.
"The media has to shine a light on social injustice, it has to shine a light on oppression," Couric said.
The most challenging stories for Couric to cover were September 11th and the Columbine shooting.
"September 11th was one of the toughest stories I've ever covered… It was so scary," she said. "I was terrified; my hand was shaking the whole time. It felt like the world was coming to an end for a moment there because it was just relentless tragedy."
Derek Hubbard, SMU senior and Student Forum moderator, enjoyed Couric's visit.
"I thought she answered everybody's questions in a great way to where they were able to really get a sense of who she is as well as a sense of the field of journalism," he said.
Couric will host her own daytime talk show, "Katie," on ABC next fall.