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Commencement Speaker

David Begnaud

University of Louisiana at Lafayette alum David Begnaud is a CBS News national correspondent based in Dallas.

His broadcasts from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria battered the U.S. territory last September earned Begnaud the George Polk Award in Public Service. The Polk Award is one of the most prestigious in journalism. Past winners include Walter Cronkite, Peter Jennings and Bob Woodward. The award recognizes “intrepid, bold, and influential work,” according to the Polk website.

Begnaud received the award in February. He was cited for reportage that detailed “destruction caused by Hurricane Maria and the inability of federal and territorial officials to provide timely and effective aid to the islanders. Begnaud and his crews brought mainland viewers firsthand accounts of the suffering and loss of life and property.” Hurricane Maria killed 64 residents and caused an estimated $100 billion worth of damage.

The Carencro, La., native has returned home to cover local stories for CBS News. One of Begnaud’s early assignments was reporting on the Grand Theater shooting in July 2015 in Lafayette. Three people, including the gunman, died. Another nine people were injured.

Begnaud’s career began as a teen reporter for local CBS affiliate KLFY-TV 10 when he was a student at Teurlings Catholic High School. He ultimately became an anchor at the station. Begnaud has also worked at TV stations in Los Angeles and Shreveport, La.

Begnaud received a bachelor’s degree in general studies from UL Lafayette in 2005.