Jane Pauley, an award-winning broadcast journalist, visited Rollins on April 9, as a guest of the Winter Park Institute (WPI).
The Alfond Sports Center was packed with lots of community members and a few students who wanted to hear her speak. The stage was set like a living room, with comfortable chairs and plants.
Pauley discussed her life, career and her most recent New York Times bestselling book Your Life Calling: Reimagining the Rest of Your Life (2014). The book focuses on age and what ‘middleage’ really means today.
The event included a brief introductory speech and a discussion with the former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins.
Pauley started her journalism career after graduating with a degree in political science from Indianapolis University. She went on to become the first female news anchor in Chicago at the age of 24.
She is famous for her journalistic work on Today and Dateline; she also had a show called The Jane Pauley Show.
During her career, Pauley covered events such as the royal wedding between Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer and had the privelege of an audience with Pope John Paul II.
She is also the author of Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue (2004), which discusses her bipolar disorder.
In 2007 Pauley was presented the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism and Mass Communication.
During her opening speech, she entertained the audience with many jokes, most of which focused on her age and her lack of name recognition. Much of her speech seemed geared towards the older community members in the audience.
She and Collins discussed her career, her new book, her health issues, and how others can find new passions in life, no matter their age.
“I think we make being 50 and over look aspirational because we have self-knowledge, we have experiences both good and bad,” she said during the chat with Collins.
She added, “Success doesn’t teach you much. The brain learns from failure, disappointment.”
She went on to say that people fifty and older often have more time to try new things at that point in their lives.
The discussion ended with Pauley joking that Interim President Craig M. McAllaster told her when Fox Day will be.
Pauley is the last WPI speaker of the year. WPI brings distiguished guests to speak to students and community members. This season featured the diverse line-up of Eric Schlosser, Sir Paul McCartney, Billy Collins, Andrew Young, Maya Lin, Eric Spiegel, and Roger McGuinn.