The News Service
With special guest Bill Belichick
Sportscaster Chris Berman to give Casey Shearer Memorial Lecture
ESPN anchor and sportscaster Chris Berman, a member of the Brown class of 1977, will give the fourth annual Casey Shearer Memorial Lecture Thursday, April 15, 2004, at 6:30 p.m. in the Salomon Center for Teaching, located on The College Green. Berman will speak on “Sports: America’s Last Melting Pot.” Following the lecture, Berman will conduct an ESPN-style interview with special guest Bill Belichick, head coach of the World Champion New England Patriots. This event is free and open to the public.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — ESPN sportscaster Chris Berman will give the fourth annual Casey Shearer Memorial Lecture on Thursday, April 15, 2004, at 6:30 p.m. in the Salomon Center for Teaching, located on The College Green. Berman, a member of the Brown class of 1977, will speak on “Sports: America’s Last Melting Pot.”
The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by Brown University and the Shearer/Goldway family. Previous Shearer lectures have been given by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, ABC News analyst Cokie Roberts and Washington Post sports columnist Thomas Boswell.
Following the lecture, Berman will introduce Bill Belichick, head coach of the World Champion New England Patriots, who will join Berman on stage. Berman will complete the evening’s presentation by conducting an ESPN-style interview.
Prior to Berman’s address, the winners of the fourth annual Casey Shearer Memorial Award for Excellence in Creative Nonfiction will be announced. A first prize of $1,000, a second prize of $500 and three honorable mentions will each be awarded to a full-time junior or senior at Brown; the awards are funded by Shearer’s family and friends.
Chris Berman joined the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) in 1979, one month after it began broadcasting. Since then he has been named National Sportscaster of the Year Award winner six times. Berman is noted for his distinctive on-air enthusiasm, knowledge and wit, and he is famous for his inventive player nicknames. Berman and ESPN programs featuring him have earned eight Emmy Awards and 12 Cable Ace Awards.
During ESPN’s first decade, Berman regularly hosted SportsCenter, the network’s trademark news show. He has served as the primary host of ESPN’s National Football League studio programming for more than 20 years. In recent years, he has worked in a related role for ABC, including stints during the Super Bowl broadcast and on Monday Night Football. Berman anchors ESPN’s U.S. Open golf tournament coverage and co-hosts playoff ice hockey for ESPN and ABC. Since 1990 he has been significantly involved in ESPN’s Major League Baseball broadcasts, delivering game commentary and hosting the network's nightly baseball show.
Berman gained his first broadcasting experience while a student at Brown, serving as sports director for WBRU radio and becoming the voice of Brown athletic teams. After graduating in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in history, Berman assisted NBC Sports telecasts in New England, worked as a correspondent for a Providence news radio station and served as a weekend television sports anchor in his native Connecticut prior to joining ESPN.
Casey Shearer, Class of 2000, was a vibrant and talented member of the Brown community. An economics concentrator, he also studied Spanish, political science and literature and was one of the students who revived Brown Student Radio (WBSR). He was best known on campus as the station’s play-by-play sports announcer and as the author of the weekly sports column “On the Case” in the College Hill Independent.
Born and raised in Santa Monica, Calif., where his mother, Ruth Goldway, was once mayor, Shearer graduated from high school in Finland, where his father, Occidental College Professor Derek Shearer, served as the U.S. ambassador. A top student at Brown, he was a member of the economics honor society and received his magna cum laude pin the Friday before he was to graduate. That same day, during his regular pick-up basketball game at the athletic center, Shearer collapsed; he died four days later of an undetected heart virus.
For more information, call (401) 863-2474.