The 2013 President's Dinner honors Terry Gross from WHYY's Fresh Air as the recipient of the WHYY Lifelong Learning Award. RSVP to join us on Thursday, May 2 »
Terry to be interviewed by NPR's Scott Simon.
About the WHYY President's Dinner
The President's Dinner award ceremony takes place at the WHYY's new Dorrance H. Hamilton Public Media Commons before a live audience, including hundreds of CEOs, business and political leaders, and many of WHYY's major donors. We're turning the tables this year and honoring Fresh Air host Terry Gross. Terry will be interviewed on stage by NPR's Scott Simon. The highlight of the gala is a live interview with Terry Gross, acclaimed host of National Public Radio's Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Past honorees include Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell; former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge; and public broadcast journalists, Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer, Cokie Roberts, Charlie Rose, Gwen Ifill; and film director/producer Ken Burns; NPR's former Morning Edition anchor, Carl Kasell; and PBS's Tavis Smiley.
Proceeds from this distinctive event support WHYY's extensive educational initiatives throughout the Delaware Valley. Become a sponsor »
About Terry Gross
Terry Gross: "One of the Best Interviewers in the Country"
Combine an intelligent interviewer with a roster of guests that, according to the Chicago Tribune, would be prized by any talk-show host, and you're bound to get an interesting conversation. Fresh Air's interviews, though, are in a category by themselves, distinguished by host and executive producer Terry Gross' unique approach. "A remarkable blend of empathy and warmth, genuine curiosity and sharp intelligence," says The San Francisco Chronicle.
Gross, who has been host of Fresh Air for more than 30 years, isn't afraid to ask tough questions, but she sets an atmosphere in which her guests volunteer the answers rather than surrendering them. What often puts those guests at ease is Gross' understanding of their work. "Anyone who agrees to be interviewed must decide where to draw the line between what is public and what is private. But the line can shift, depending on who is asking the questions," observes Gross. "What puts someone on guard isn't necessarily the fear of being 'found out.' It sometimes is just the fear of being misunderstood."
Gross began her radio career in 1973 at public radio station WBFO in Buffalo, New York. There she hosted and produced several arts, women's and public affairs programs, including This Is Radio, a live, three-hour magazine program that aired daily. Two years later, she joined the staff of WHYY-FM in Philadelphia as producer and host of Fresh Air, then a local, daily interview and music program. In 1985, WHYY-FM launched a weekly half-hour edition of Fresh Air with Terry Gross, which was distributed nationally by National Public Radio (NPR). Since 1987, a daily, one-hour national edition of Fresh Air has been produced by WHYY-FM; it now airs on 500 stations.
Fresh Air with Terry Gross has received a number of awards, including the prestigious Peabody Award in 1994 for its "probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insight." In 2003, she received the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's Edward R. Murrow Award for her "outstanding contributions to public radio." Gross has been honored with the Literarian Award from the National Book Foundation, the Authors Guild Award for Distinguished Service to the Literary Community and is a member of the Radio Hall of Fame. She is the author of "All I Did Was Ask: Conversations with Writers, Actors, Musicians and Artists."
Terry Gross, born in Brooklyn, New York, received a bachelor's degree in English and a M.Ed. in Communications from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo. She has received honorary degrees from SUNY Buffalo, Princeton University, Drexel University and Haverford College.
About Scott Simon
Scott Simon, Host of Weekend Edition Saturday
From Ground Zero in New York and ground zero in Kabul to police stations, subway platforms and darkened theaters, NPR's Peabody Award-winning correspondent Scott Simon brings a well-traveled perspective to his role as host of Weekend Edition Saturday. Simon joined NPR in 1977 and has reported from all 50 states and several other countries as well as covered presidential campaigns and eight wars.
Simon has received numerous honors for his reporting, including a Peabody Award (weekly radio essays), Emmy Award (The Patterson Project TV documentary) and Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Awards (Sept. 11, Gulf War, war in Kosovo).
Simon has been a frequent guest host of the CBS television program Nightwatch and CNBC's TalkBack Live. In addition to hosting Weekend Edition Saturday, he has appeared as an essayist and commentator on NBC's Weekend Today and NOW with Bill Moyers. He has hosted many public television programs and a documentary film. He has written for The New York Times' book review and opinion sections, the Wall Street Journal opinion page, Los Angeles Times and Gourmet Magazine.
Simon has written four books: Home and Away: Memoir of a Fan, Jackie Robinson and the Integration of Baseball, Pretty Birds and Windy City.
WHYY attracts millions of viewers and listeners with an inspiring mix of high-quality national programs from PBS and NPR and original award-winning productions. For more than 50 years, WHYY has connected the Delaware Valley's diverse audiences to the world's richest ideas and all of us to each other through high-quality programs, trusted services and enlightening community events that build common bonds and make our region a better place.
WHYY has pioneered the use of innovative technologies that help turn homes, classrooms and workplaces into lifelong learning centers. By taking a leading role in making educational opportunities accessible to everyone, WHYY advocates personal enrichment and makes strategic investments that support the Delaware Valley's businesses, arts and cultural institutions, schools, day care centers, healthcare organizations and adult communities.
For seven consecutive years, the Roper Public Affairs & Media poll has shown that in these turbulent times, Americans consider public broadcasting news and public affairs series the most trustworthy. National programs like Fresh Air provides Delaware Valley residents with a thorough understanding of the events that shape their lives.