Remembering Jim Lehrer and his Victoria roots

Retired Victoria College professor reflects on Lehrer's time in Victoria, friendship

VICTORIA, Texas – A journalism legend with ties to the Crossroads has passed away.  Before Jim Lehrer founded the NewsHour television program in 1975 – he was a student at Victoria College until he graduated in 1954.

Michael Hummel, a retired Victoria College professor, a close friend of Lehrer’s shares more.

“He was at Victoria College, he applied to the prestigious University of Missouri Journalism Program was given only tentative acceptance,” Hummel said. “Dr. Stormont, the dean of the time was bothered by that and sent word to the university saying, ‘You want this man, you send me whatever he needs to take to demonstrate his ability, I’ll personally administer it and you will be glad to have him.’ And I asked Jim, ‘How did you do?’ And he said, ‘I aced it.'”

Lehrer was in Victoria last spring as part of the John W. Stormont lecture series and a plaque was dedicated in his honor at the historic site of the Trailways Bus Station, located near the Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts. He worked at the bus station while also working as the editor of the college’s newspaper, The Jolly Roger.

And although Lehrer moderated 12 presidential debates after his time in Victoria – he never forgot his roots and made regular gifts to the college foundation.  

“We lost a good friend and a good man and I wish we had even more people of his quality,” Hummel said.

For more information about Lehrer’s most recent visit to the college, go here.