The Missouri General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Transportation Oversight has unanimously approved an application to designate a portion of the Belt Highway in St. Joseph for the city’s famous native son, newsman Walter Cronkite. The application was submitted by Missouri Western State University, home of the Walter Cronkite Memorial.
“We’re very grateful to the Missouri General Assembly and the Joint Committee on Transportation Oversight for acting so quickly on our application, and to our local lawmakers who supported it so enthusiastically,” said Dr. Robert Vartabedian, Missouri Western’s president. “Walter Cronkite was proud of his St. Joseph beginnings, and I’m pleased that we are honoring the most influential journalist of the 20th century in this way.”
The Joint Committee’s action designates a portion of U.S. Highway 169 from Frederick Avenue south to Interstate 29 as the Walter Cronkite Memorial Highway. Signs with the designation will be erected within six to eight weeks, according to state Rep. Delus Johnson of St. Joseph, one of the applications sponsors. Other sponsors include state Sen. Rob Schaaf, state Rep. Pat Conway and state Rep. Galen Higdon, all of St. Joseph.
In addition to the Memorial Highway designation signs, directional signs leading motorists to the Walter Cronkite Memorial at Missouri Western will soon be erected on U.S. Highway 36, Riverside Road and the Belt Highway. Dr. Sharon Kosek, a 1977 Missouri Western graduate, coordinated that signage effort.
Walter Cronkite was born in St. Joseph on Nov. 4, 1916. He anchored the CBS Evening News from 1962 to 1981 and was consistently named “The Most Trusted Man in America” in public opinion polls. Missouri Western dedicated the Walter Cronkite Memorial on Nov. 4, 2013, which would have been the newsman’s 97th birthday. The permanent, 5,000 square-foot memorial in the atrium of Spratt Hall includes video, audio, photographs and memorabilia to help tell the story of Cronkite’s life and the historic events he covered. For more information, visit www.waltercronkitememorial.org.
Missouri Western State University is a comprehensive regional university providing a blend of traditional liberal arts and professional degree programs. The university offers student-centered, high quality instruction that focuses on experience-based learning, community service, and state-of-the-art technology. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit www.missouriwestern.edu.