Elizabeth Vargas to keynote ‘Tapestry’ next spring

November 16, 2018

Award-winning journalist Elizabeth Vargas, who has anchored numerous breaking stories on ABC News, interviewed U.S. presidents and celebrities, will be the keynote speaker for Tapestry 2019.

Purdue University Fort Wayne made the announcement in a news release Friday.

“Be prepared to be inspired,” the release said.

Tapestry, which will be May 3 at Memorial Coliseum, has raised nearly $1 million in scholarship money and distributed it to 89 students in the last 17 years.

Vargas has traveled the world covering breaking news stories, reporting in-depth investigations and conducting newsmaker interviews. Currently the host of “A&E Investigates,” Vargas was credited by the New York Times for reinvigorating the newsmagazine format with her “intellectually brave” reporting, the news release said.

During the historic Iraqi elections in December 2005, she reported extensively for “World News Tonight” from Baghdad on both civilian life in Iraq and U.S. military involvement. She has interviewed leaders from around the world, including President George W. Bush from the Oval Office in the White House.

Vargas has also anchored ABC News coverage of live, breaking stories, including the deaths of President Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy Jr., and Hurricane Katrina’s devastation from the U.S. Gulf Coast, the news release said. She won an Emmy in 2000 for Outstanding Instant Coverage of a News Story for anchoring live coverage of the Elian Gonzalez case.

She has also interviewed celebrities ranging from actors and musicians to business leaders and authors. The list includes Ellen DeGeneres, Jeff Skoll, Sheryl Crow, Madonna, Johnny Depp, Hugh Hefner, Jessica Simpson, Mick Jagger, Drew Barrymore, Dan Brown, Alanis Morissette and Cat Stevens.

In September 2016, Vargas’s memoir, “Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction,” was released by Grand Central Publishing. Becoming an instant New York Times and USA Today bestseller, the book details her struggles with anxiety and alcohol and tells a powerful story of healing and coping.

A special episode of “20/20” aired in conjunction with the book’s release, in which Vargas and Diane Sawyer discussed Vargas’ experiences, reported on the link between anxiety and alcohol abuse, and interviewed both addiction experts and those recovering from addiction.

“With her signature candor and insight, Elizabeth Vargas gives audiences a behind-the-scenes look at today’s live news reporting and ever-evolving media,” the news release said.

“She shares her experiences breaking some of the biggest stories of the last several decades and reporting from the front lines around the world, including Hurricane Katrina, the war in Iraq, the crisis in Beslan, Russia, and political crises in Washington. Vargas also bravely discusses how alcoholism and an anxiety disorder have affected her life and career, and why she chose to publicly share her struggle with the disease and her ongoing recovery.”

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