Lexington, Virginia • May 12, 2010
Acclaimed journalist and newsman Roger Mudd, a 1950 graduate of Washington and Lee University, has donated his papers to the university's Leyburn Library. This gift follows Mudd's 2006 donation of his collection of 20th-century Southern fiction.
The Mudd papers, which occupy 14 boxes and approximately 15 linear feet of shelving, document the acclaimed journalist's career at CBS and NBC, as well as his work with the History Channel and on the PBS "Newshour" (1987-1993).
"I've attended a lot of colleges in my time, but Washington and Lee's grip on me made my choice of giving my papers to the Leyburn Library easy and inevitable," said Mudd. "They'll have a happy home."
The papers contain many records of his connections with Washington and Lee, such as a tape of his 1995 Telford Lecture at W&L, notes and tapes from journalism courses he has taught at the University, and several term papers dating from his years as a student.
"In addition to being a distinguished journalist, Roger Mudd has been a wonderful friend to Washington and Lee University and its library," said University Librarian Merrily Taylor. "In donating his papers, he provides a significant resource for the study of journalism, especially broadcast journalism, in the 20th century, as well as a window upon many significant moments of our time. W&L students and faculty, as well as many outside scholars, will be grateful to him for generations to come, as are we today."
Brian Richardson, head of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications and a 1973 alumnus of W&L, added: "Millions of Americans know Roger Mudd as one of the premier broadcast journalists of his generation. We at W&L know him also for his generosity and intense loyalty to his alma mater. This donation demonstrates both his service to his audience and his abiding affection for W&L. Our students and scholars will be richer for his gift, and we are deeply grateful."
Among the rich resources in the Mudd donation are tapes of broadcasts on CBS and NBC, transcripts of Mudd interviews from 1967-2004 (broadcast on CBS, NBC, PBS and the History Channel), speeches Mudd gave from 1980-2004, and notes and sources for his 2008 book, The Place to Be: Washington, CBS, and the Glory Days of Television News.
Interesting political artifacts include Mudd's interviews with the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (1979), campaign advertisements from LBJ to Bush/Dukakis (1988), and a series of gaffes from presidential debates from 1976-1988. Many newspaper clippings on Mudd's work and related subjects are also present.