ABC’s John Quiñones to speak at UW Bothell Commencement

John Quiñones - Courtesy photo
John Quiñones
— image credit: Courtesy photo

John Quiñones, Emmy Award-winning co-anchor of ABC’s Primetime and sole anchor of the Primetime series What Would You Do?, will deliver the commencement address to the graduating class of the University of Washington Bothell at its 23rd Commencement Ceremony.

The event takes place at 1:45 p.m. June 15 in Hec Edmundson Pavilion, Alaska Airlines Arena, at the University of Washington Seattle campus. About 1,400 students will receive degrees.

Similar to Quiñones, many UW Bothell students have overcome multiple barriers to attain a college education. Of the 4,600 diverse students at UW Bothell, nearly half are the first in their families to attend a four-year college and many work full time while immersed in their academic studies. Quiñones frequently shares his powerful story of growing up in a poor family of migrant workers to eventually become ABC’s first Latino correspondent. He encourages the pursuit of dreams regardless of socioeconomic barriers and emphasizes the role education played in his success.

The quest for social justice is another commonality shared by Quiñones and UW Bothell. As sole anchor of one of the highest rated news magazine franchises in years, What Would You Do?, Quiñones regularly challenges unknowing participants and viewers on issues of ethics and social justice, to think about what is right and to stand up for others’ rights.

In 2010, Quiñones was the first reporter out of the 2,000 journalists who covered the Chilean Mining Disaster to get an exclusive interview with one of the survivors. Quiñones joined ABC News in June 1982 as a general assignment correspondent based in Miami, providing reports for World News Tonight with Peter Jennings and other ABC News broadcasts. He was one of the few American journalists who reported from Panama City during the U.S. invasion in December 1989. During the ‘80s, he spent nearly a decade in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama reporting for World News Tonight.

Prior to joining ABC News, Quiñones was a reporter with WBBM-TV in Chicago. He won two Emmy Awards for his 1980 reporting on the plight of illegal aliens from Mexico. From 1975 to 1978, he was news editor at KTRH radio in Houston. During that period, he also was an anchor-reporter for KPRC-TV.

Quiñones received a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech communications from St. Mary’s University, San Antonio and a master’s degree from the Columbia School of Journalism. He received the 2010 Outstanding Alumni Award from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and his coverage on the African Congo was named one of the 50 greatest stories by a graduate in the last 100 years.

For more information about the commencement ceremony, contact Lisa Walker, Commencement Coordinator at 425-352-3663 or

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