Former ABC Reporter To Receive Baylor Communications Award

July 17, 2002

Peggy Wehmeyer, the first national religion correspondent for a major television news network, will be presented with the 2002 Baylor Communications Award during the annual President's Media Luncheon Aug. 27 in Barfield Drawing Room in the Bill Daniel Student Center. The award was established seven years ago to honor those individuals who have distinguished themselves in the field of communications and also in their communities.
Wehmeyer began her broadcasting career in 1981 at WFAA-TV in Dallas, where she pioneered the first religion beat in local television. Thirteen years later, she was tapped by ABC's "World News Tonight" anchor Peter Jennings to cover religion, a nonexistent beat at a national network. Within a year, Jennings said, her work on religion and spirituality issues elicited "a greater response from both audience and colleagues than anything else we have done in recent years."
Before major budget cuts at ABC News eliminated her position in 2001, Wehmeyer helped viewers gain a deeper understanding of how faith intersects with culture in everything from Islam in America to the impact of faith on health to prayer in public schools. Her award-winning stories have aired on "World News Tonight," "Good Morning America" and "20/20" and has interviewed Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush about their faith and its impact on their lives. Her experience and knowledge of America's religious landscape landed her exclusive interviews with the parents of slain Columbine High School student Cassie Bernall and the parents of the McCaughey septuplets.
Her work has been honored with numerous awards, including the Columbus International Film and Video Festival Award, the Cine Golden Eagle Award and the Associated Baptist Press Religious Freedom Award.
Wehmeyer earned her journalism degree with honors from the University of Texas. She resides in Dallas with her husband, Mark, and two teenage daughters, Hannah and Lauren.
Wehmeyer will serve as a distinguished guest lecturer at Baylor for the fall 2002 semester.