Five years after becoming one of NBC's first African-American television network reporters in 1965, Lem Tucker already had concluded that society's race assumptions could never diminish journalistic integrity premised on good reporting.
Undaunted by the skepticism shadowing 1970s professionals of diverse backgrounds, Tucker advanced from NBC to ABC to CBS, where he gained national acclaim as a Washington Bureau correspondent covering presidential campaigns, the Iranian hostage crisis, the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan and many more historic events.
During the two decades before his untimely death in 1991, Tucker built the reputation that had been foreshadowed with his election as the first-ever black CMU student body president. In spirit, the 1960 graduate never left his alma mater, returning often to acknowledge the lessons behind his Emmy award-winning career.
“The honing of my speech skills, my dealings with the people in student government and being the president of the student body – all those things went into the whole that is me,” Tucker said during one Mount Pleasant campus visit.
CMU recognized Tucker's professional success with an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree in 1981 and an Alumni Recognition Award in 1985.
Today, his CMU legacy continues with the scholarship established in his honor – the Lem Tucker Scholarship.
Thanks to Tucker, and the many friends and supporters of the Lem Tucker Scholarship, some of CMU's most talented and diverse students are discovering and developing the most pervasive of Lem Tucker's qualities: leadership. As they follow his model into careers, they will succeed in a broadening variety of professions.
For more information about this scholarship, contact:
Associate Director of Admissions
Metro Detroit Outreach
Central Michigan University
1650 Research Drive, Suite 300
Troy, MI 48083