“NBC News at this Hour, I’m Chuck Scarborough…” After serving four years in the United States Air Force and beginning his television broadcasting career at WLOX in Biloxi, Miss., Charles “Chuck” Scarborough realized he lacked the comprehensive education and training needed to succeed in the field. After earning a two-year degree, he came to The University of Southern Mississippi in the summer of 1968 and, with the help of the dean of students, laid out a plan for completing his bachelor’s degree in one year. Although it was an ambitious plan, requiring 21 hours a semester while working full-time as a reporter, Scarborough’s determination to be a broadcast journalist carried him through. After a full morning of classes each day, he would rush over to the local news station, WDAM, to apply what he was learning in the classroom as a reporter and anchor. This total immersion proved to be a critical year in his life, as Southern Miss allowed Scarborough to build a firm foundation for the career that would take him to New York City within five years of graduation. Over the course of his illustrious television career, Scarborough worked for WLOX-TV in Biloxi, WDAM-TV in Hattiesburg, WAGA-TV in Atlanta and WNAC-TV in Boston. In 1974, he found his home in New York City at WNBC, where he has set the standard for broadcasting excellence for 43 years. Attesting to that excellence are his 36 Emmy Awards, an Edward R. Murrow Award and the Washington Review of Journalism’s Best in the Business award.
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Southern Miss taught Scarborough the basics of good, solid, honest journalism. He learned about sourcing, attribution, the importance of impartiality and fairness, writing for the ear and credibility, the most important asset any broadcast journalist can have. “Since I’ve been in broadcast journalism, the world has never been in more need of the basic values of journalism than it is today. Institutions like Southern Miss, who teach the fundamentals of good reporting and the merits of the pursuit of truth without agenda, are extremely important,” Scarborough said. “In an information flow unparalleled in the history of mankind, much of it agenda-driven, much of it unreliable, much of it – in the grand scheme of things – irrelevant, we need to focus more than ever on what Southern Miss does.” Exemplifying the culture of philanthropy that is so deeply rooted at Southern Miss, Scarborough’s path brought him full circle to enrich the lives of students. With great success working in television news from Hattiesburg to New York City, Scarborough desired to make a gift to the institution that gave so much to him in his early years. To help current and future broadcasting students receive hands-on experience while earning their degrees, he made a generous gift in support of the program that resulted in upgrades to technology specific to broadcast journalism. In recognition, the television studio in College Hall now bears the name “Charles Bishop Scarborough III Television Studio Suite.”