Amy Robach of ‘Good Morning America’ to deliver UGA’s spring Commencement address

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March 23, 2015

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    Amy Robach (Credit: Heidi Gutman/ABC)

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    Gary Bertsch (Credit: Robert Newcomb/UGA)

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Athens, Ga. - "Good Morning America" anchor Amy Robach will give undergraduates one final charge on May 8 before the University of Georgia sends its newest alumni off with a fireworks farewell. The spring Commencement ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. in Sanford Stadium.

The graduate ceremony, which will feature University Professor Emeritus Gary Bertsch, who is now chairman of the international advisory group TradeSecure LLC, will be held at 10 a.m. in Stegeman Coliseum. Tickets are not required for either ceremony.

"Amy Robach is a veteran television journalist with national and international recognition. She also is one of the University of Georgia's most accomplished alumni," said President Jere W. Morehead. "We are honored to welcome her back to campus to deliver the Commencement address and look forward to hearing her inspirational message to our graduating seniors."

A 1995 alumna of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, Robach has been a news anchor for ABC's "Good Morning America" since March 2014. During her time at ABC News-she originally joined the network as a correspondent based in New York-she has traveled nationally and internationally to cover major news events.

Robach has reported and hosted several "20/20" programs for ABC News, including ones on polygamist leader Warren Jeffs for "Breaking Polygamy: Secrets of the Sect" and present-day British aristocracy for "Secrets of the Castle: Beyond Downton Abbey."

Some of her most notable coverage at ABC includes visiting Nigeria to interview Malala Yousafzai, a 17-year-old who was in the African country as part of a campaign to free hundreds of captive schoolgirls. Robach reported live from South Africa just days after the shooting of Oscar Pistorius' girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp and covered the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia; the birth of Prince George in London; the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy; and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

From 2003 to 2012, Robach worked for NBC News. She spent several years anchoring morning news programming on MSNBC, and from 2007 on, she was co-anchor of the weekend edition of the "Today" show and a national correspondent, among other positions.

Before her NBC tenure, Robach worked at Fox 5 WTTG in Washington, D.C., as a reporter and anchor. She started her career in 1995 as a general assignment reporter for WCBD-TV in Charleston, South Carolina.

Originally from Lansing, Michigan, Robach lived in St. Louis, Missouri, before moving south to Atlanta just before high school. She graduated from UGA with honors and a degree in broadcast journalism.

Robach currently lives in New York City with her husband, two daughters and three stepsons.

Bertsch retired from UGA in 2010 as the director of the Center for International Trade and Security, a UGA-based program conducting international research, teaching and outreach to promote economic prosperity, international peace and security.

He founded the center, known as CITS, in 1987, beginning his tenure on the UGA faculty in 1969 as an undergraduate adviser in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and undergraduate director and graduate director in the political science department.

CITS is recognized worldwide and has generated more than $30 million in external funding.

In 1995, Bertsch was designated a University Professor, the university's highest recognition for distinguished service. He served on the board of trustees of the UGA Foundation from 1994-2004 and the board of directors of the UGA Research Foundation from 1987-1997.

Bertsch earned numerous awards at UGA, including the Pi Sigma Alpha Teacher of the Year Award, the Lothar Tresp Teaching Award, the General Sandy Beaver Teaching Professorship and the Alumni Society Service Award. He was a Fulbright Professor in England and an International Research and Exchanges Board Professor in the former Yugoslavia and was elected a life member of the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations.

Bertsch earned his master's and doctoral degrees in political science at the University of Oregon and received his bachelor's degree in government from Idaho State University.

After his retirement from UGA, Bertsch founded TradeSecure LLC. He also serves as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing.

He and his wife, Joan, live in Athens.

For more information on spring Commencement, see http://commencement.uga.edu/. Both ceremonies will be streamed live at http://www.ctl.uga.edu/ctlcable and broadcast live on Channel 15 of the university and Charter cable systems.

 

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