KU to award anchorman Bill Kurtis with honorary degree

A longtime faculty member will also be honored

AP News Staff
December 23, 2019 - 6:53 am
Bill Kurtis addresses an audience in Chicago

Timothy Hiatt - Getty Images Entertainment

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Broadcaster Bill Kurtis is getting an honorary degree from the University of Kansas.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the Kansas Board Board of Regents voted this week to give degrees to Kurtis and longtime KU faculty member Roger Shimomura. The university says Kurtis, 79, will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters degree and Shimomura will receive a Doctor of Arts degree.

Kurtis, who grew up in Independence, Kansas, anchored the CBS Morning News and has hosted various A&E crime and news documentary shows. As a recent law school graduate and young television anchor, Kurtis led coverage for 24 hours straight on WIBW-TV before, during and after the 1966 Topeka tornado that killed 16 people and left hundreds of people injured. 

Younger people recognize Kurtis' voice as narrator on both of Will Ferrell's "Anchorman" movies.

Shimomura taught art from 1969 to 2004 at KU and creates art addressing the sociopolitical issues of Asian America.

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