Quinones to address D&E class of 2014

ELKINS – John Quinones, the Emmy Award-winning co-anchor of ABC newsmagazine Primetime, will deliver the keynote address at Davis & Elkins College’s 105th Commencement Ceremony.

More than 185 students will receive their degrees in the ceremony scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday on the outdoor plaza. In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be relocated to The McDonnell Center.

Quinones, along with The Inter-Mountain Publisher and General Manager Heather Goodwin Henline, will receive the honorary Doctor of Letters degree. The award is presented in recognition of outstanding achievement in the humanities, original contribution to the creative arts, scholarship or other merits.

Having grown up in a poor family of migrant workers to eventually become ABC’s first Latino correspondent and a seven-time Emmy Award winner, Quinones shares his powerful story with audiences around the country, encouraging them to pursue their dreams regardless of socioeconomic barriers. He particularly emphasizes the role education played in his success.

A 30-year veteran of the ABC network, Quinones has reported extensively for ABC News, predominantly serving as a correspondent for “Primetime” and “20/20.” Currently, he is the sole anchor of the Primetime series “What Would You Do?,” one of the highest rated newsmagazine franchises in recent years, which captures the way people react when confronted with dilemmas that compel them to either take action or walk away. To that end, he has extensively covered a religious sect in northern Arizona that forces its young female members to take part in polygamous marriages and followed a group of would-be Mexican immigrants as they attempted to cross into the U.S. via the treacherous route known as “The Devil’s Highway,” among many other endeavors.

Previously, Quinones anchored the critically acclaimed ABC News special “Latin Beat,” which focused on the wave of Latin talent sweeping the U.S., the impact of the recent population explosion, and how it will affect the nation as a whole.

Quinones joined ABC News in June 1982 as a general assignment correspondent based in Miami, providing reports for “World News Tonight” with Peter Jennings and other ABC News broadcasts. He was one of the few American journalists who reported from Panama City during the U.S. invasion in December 1989. During the 1980s, he spent nearly a decade in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama reporting for “World News Tonight.”

Prior to joining ABC News, he was a reporter with WBBM-TV in Chicago. He won two Emmy Awards for his 1980 reporting on the plight of illegal aliens from Mexico. From 1975 to 1978, he was news editor at KTRH radio in Houston, Texas. During that period, he also was an anchor-reporter for KPRC-TV.

He also received Emmy Awards for his coverage of the Congo’s virgin rainforest, which also won the Ark Trust Wildlife Award, and for “Window in the Past,” a look at the Yanomamo Indians. He received a National Emmy Award for his work on the ABC documentary “Burning Questions-The Poisoning of America,” which aired in September 1988, and was also honored with a World Hunger Media Award and a citation from the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards for “To Save the Children,” his 1990 report on the homeless children of Bogota. Among his other prestigious awards are the First Prize in International Reporting and Robert F. Kennedy Prize for his piece on “Modern Slavery-Children Sugar Cane Cutters in the Dominican Republic.” He was awarded an ALMA Award from the National Council of La Raza, and in 2005, the Smithsonian Museum’s exhibit, “Our Journeys/Our Stories: Portraits of Latino Achievement,” named Quinones as one of the 25 most prominent Latinos in the U.S.

Quinones received a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech communications from St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas, and a master’s degree from the Columbia School of Journalism. Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism presented him with the 2010 Outstanding Alumni Award, and his coverage on the African Congo was named one of the 50 greatest stories by a graduate in the last 100 years.

For more information, visit the D&E website at www.dewv.edu or call 304-637-1243.