CBS News Correspondent David Begnaud, who has been widely recognized for his work covering the impact of Hurricane María in Puerto Rico, will deliver the commencement address during the Polytechnic University’s 39th graduation ceremony on July 26.
More than 700 students are expected to graduate in the commencement to be held at the Puerto Rico Convention Center with either an associate degree, a bachelor’s degree, or a master’s in Engineering, Land Surveying, Business Administration, Education, Interior Design, Architecture, or Landscape Architecture, school officials confirmed.
Begnaud will offer a special message to all the graduates in a ceremony dedicated to the resilience shown by many students and professors during the event — a resilience that helped them finish their studies and programs in an academic year fraught with challenges.
“We’re very happy and pleased that David Begnaud has accepted our invitation to be our guest speaker in this graduation ceremony,” said Polytechnic University President Ernesto Vázquez-Barquet.
“We have witnessed the attention he has given our island and his contribution to our speedy recovery, as well as his determination to always seek the truth while upholding his profession’s ethical standards — something that we know he will share with our graduates on that day,” he said.
Begnaud covered the devastation caused in Puerto Rico during and after Hurricane María, and he kept reporting for more than 30 days from several places in the island, including rural areas.
He also used several social media platforms to keep local citizens informed during the blackout.
His reports and coverage have led him to obtain the prestigious George Polk Award in Journalism, which recognizes bold and intrepid reporting, and rewards investigative work of great quality, originality, and creativity.