BETHANY, W.Va. — Award-winning broadcast journalist Bob Orr, Justice and Homeland Security correspondent for CBS News and a 1975 graduate of Bethany College, will deliver the Keynote Address for the 25th annual Kalon Scholarship Luncheon at Bethany College. The luncheon is part of the Kalon Leadership Scholarship Competition for incoming freshmen with superior academic, leadership and service records.
“Bethany College always takes great pride in welcoming our distinguished alumni back to their alma mater,” said Dr. Scott D. Miller, President of the College. “Bob’s rise to the pinnacle of his profession serves as an inspiration to us all and makes him an outstanding example of the positive alumni outcomes which drive our mission as a small college of national distinction.”
The Kalon Scholarship Luncheon is held each year at Bethany College as part of the Kalon Leadership Scholarship competition. Candidates are chosen from high school seniors across the nation based on demonstrated achievement in leadership, a superior academic record and a required essay on leadership. The College hosts potential scholarship recipients during Kalon Weekend, giving them the opportunity to tour the campus and participate in events such as the luncheon and a variety of leadership seminars. Following the luncheon and Keynote Address, three-person teams composed of a Bethany faculty or staff member, a current Bethany student and an alumnus conduct in-depth interviews of each candidate to complete the evaluation process.
Orr, who graduated cum laude from Bethany in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication, is a native of Wheeling, W.Va. He served as a reporter for WTRF-TV in Wheeling while a student and continued until 1978, when he began work as a reporter and anchor with WBNS-TV in Columbus, Ohio. He received three regional Emmy Awards for his reporting for WBNS-TV and WCAU-TV in Philadelphia before he joined CBS News in July 1993.
Orr continued his rise in the field of broadcast journalism by spending 13 years covering the aviation, space and transportation beat for CBS. He was named Justice and Homeland Security Correspondent in 2006. His reports are regularly featured on the CBS Evening News With Katie Couric, and he also contributes to CBS Radio and CBSNews.com.
The Bethany alumnus contributed numerous live reports during the 9/11 terrorist attacks and broke several stories by reporting details of the hijacked planes. He received a national Emmy Award for his reporting on the Washington, D.C. sniper attacks in October 2002 and also led CBS News’ coverage of the Columbia space shuttle disaster in February 2003. More recently, he served as lead correspondent for the January 2006 Sago Mine disaster in West Virginia and helped anchor the coverage of the April 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech.
Orr has received two other national Emmy Awards. His first Emmy came in 1996 in recognition of his work on the crash of TWA Flight 800 off the coast of New York. He earned his second national Emmy for his coverage of Amtrak’s “City of New Orleans” passenger train crash near Chicago. In addition, Orr was the recipient of a Sigma Delta Chi Award for his reporting on the return of Elian Gonzalez to his native Cuba in June 2000.
Bethany College honored Orr for his contributions to the profession of broadcast journalism by presenting him with the 1996 Alumni Achievement Award in Journalism. Orr resides in Fairfax County, Va. with his wife, Susie, and their three daughters.