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President Valerie Smith's Charge to David Gelber '63


Documentary filmmaker and television news producer David Gelber, Swarthmore College Class of 1963, is first and foremost a storyteller. His ability to tell stories, in particular during his 25 years as a producer for the iconic CBS newsmagazine show 60 Minutes, has resulted in a remarkably successful career in journalism and filmmaking, during which he has won a Peabody, two duPont Awards, and nine Emmys.

The stories he has told have helped bring many of the world’s problems out into the light so that they might receive greater national and global attention.  David spent two winters in Sarajevo producing documentary films on the Bosnian conflict. He has exposed medical charlatans peddling bogus stem-cell therapy to patients dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease. He has uncovered the brutal conditions of prison camps in China. And as executive producer of the documentary series Years of Living Dangerously, he has raised awareness of the impending threat of global climate change.

In his career, David Gelber has represented the highest and best values of his alma mater, pursuing justice, fairness, and equity in the service of the common good. David, upon the recommendation of the faculty, and by the power vested in me by the Board of Managers of Swarthmore College and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I have the honor to bestow upon you the degree of Doctor of Arts.