Whether it’s flipping through radio stations or clicking through news broadcasts, it's likely you've come across a familiar voice and face on the airwaves. Emmy award-winning journalist and distinguished alumna Michel Martin ’76, weekend host of NPR’s All Things Considered, returns to Millville on June 2 to give the Baccalaureate address to the friends, families, and members of the Form of 2019.
“We are extremely pleased to have Michel here as our Baccalaureate speaker. In an era when journalism is increasingly under fire, both figuratively and literally, it is particularly timely to have her among us,” says Interim Rector Amy Richards. “Her journey to and through St. Paul’s School and her career trajectory since leaving SPS is a story worth sharing, and we are honored to have her here to help us celebrate the Form of 2019 as they prepare to launch into the world.”
Martin arrived in Millville from Brooklyn, N.Y., during the School’s first years as a co-ed institution. During her time here, she excelled in her academic pursuits, becoming the first student of color to earn the Ferguson Prize Scholarship, and was also awarded the Dickey Prize. Martin also became the first female of color on the Debate Team and took part in clubs such as the Third World Society that focused on social change. She graduated from the School summa cum laude as a Fifth Former before heading to Radcliffe College at Harvard University, where she graduated cum laude.
Immediately following her college graduation, Martin moved to Washington, D.C., to work for the The Washington Post where she served as a state and local government reporter. Her career has involved posts in print, television, and radio, including The Wall Street Journal, ABC’s newsmagazine Nightline, NPR, and most recently as a contributor for PBS’s Amanpour & Company. Her work has earned multiple recognitions, including a Joan Barone Award for Excellence in Washington-based National Affairs/Public Policy Broadcasting from the Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association and a Candace Award for Communications from The National Coalition of 100 Black Women. Her credits also include appearing as a regular panelist for This Week with George Stephanopoulos and as a contributor to NOW with Bill Moyers. In addition to her work in journalism, Martin is a former member of the St. Paul’s School Board of Trustees, and earned a master of arts from the Wesley Theological Seminary in 2016.
Student Council members, tasked with inviting the Baccalaureate speaker, believe Martin embodies the tone and temperament of the Form of 2019. “Mrs. Martin's extensive career experience — as a pioneer of public radio, a fearless journalist, and overall seeker of truth – aligns with the passions of many students in the Form of 2019,” Sixth Form officers Estela Lacombe França, Elena Guild, David Roselle, and Aaron Magloire answered collectively. "Whether through involvement with WSPS, student publications, or Independent Study Projects, we also have expressed a clear commitment to the same search for truth."