Updated: 2:36 p.m. Sunday, May 12, 2013 | Posted: 12:00 a.m. Thursday, May 9, 2013
FIVE QUESTIONS FOR BILL HEMMER:
What is your best memory of your years at Miami University?
“It’s almost too good to be true: a beautiful campus, tucked away in a far corner of Ohio where I met friends for a lifetime. I think the relationships you make and the experience that grows with you – like the European program in Luxembourg – which is second to none. That is the type of experience that changes your life.”
With all the major news stories you’ve had to cover, what was the hardest one to deal with personally?
“The massacre at Sandy Hook is hard to comprehend. First graders in that classroom, it’s haunting. You practically apply blinders when you enter Newtown, Ct and attach this concentrated focus to get through the day. I also felt the devastation during the earthquake in Port au Prince, Haiti was heart wrenching. The Haitians have so little in the first place, then to be hit with such a tragedy of enormous human scale is hard to stomach.”
You started in radio in Oxford and switched to TV sports. Was it a difficult transition?
“When I was a young man, I was interested in two things: music and sports. So I was destined to either be a disc jockey, or a sportscaster. The second one paid better – not by much - but I pursued sports!”
What were your thoughts when you first moved to being in front of a national audience?
“The sense of responsibility seemed to be much greater: at the local level we covered stories that impacted thousands and they were people who lived in your community. I felt it was an important and serious job. But suddenly on the national level the stories were affecting millions.”
Can you sum up in a few sentences what your message will be to the Miami business graduates on Sunday?
“I want to impart something they will remember! It’s been a few years since leaving Oxford, but those students and I have something in common because we come from the same place. I hope to share what is important about friends and family, careers and the choices we make in life.”