kathy cronkite speaks at Walter Cronkite Memorial

Kathy Cronkite, daughter of Walter and Betsy Cronkite, speaks at the dedication of the Walter Cronkite Memorial at Missouri Western State University on Nov. 4, 2013.

Oct. 31, 2023–Missouri Western State University will host a celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Walter Cronkite Memorial from at 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6. The celebration will include a brief program, light refreshments and activities with a chance to win prizes. It is free and open to the public.

Cronkite was born in St. Joseph on Nov. 4, 1916. He went on to anchor the “CBS Evening News” from 1962 to 1981 and was consistently named “The Most Trusted Man in America” in public opinion polls. He first rose to fame as a UPI correspondent during World War II, and went on to bring news of major events to generations of Americans, including the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., the Civil Rights movement, the moon landing, Vietnam, Watergate and the Iran hostage crisis.

The Walter Cronkite Memorial was dedicated in the atrium of Leah Spratt Hall on the Missouri Western campus on Nov. 4, 2013, on what would have been the legendary newsman’s 97th birthday. It was the vision of Dr. Robert Vartabedian, who was then president of Missouri Western State University, to create a fitting memorial to St. Joseph’s native son and one of the most towering figures in public life in the 20th century.

The centerpiece of the memorial is a 21-foot tall photographic display featuring 39 images of world and national news events Cronkte covered during his career. A nearby kiosk gives visitors the opportunity to view Cronkite’s news reports of the depicted events, as well as Cronkite’s memories and reflections on those events. The memorial also features a replica of the newsroom from which Cronkite broadcast the CBS Evening News in the late 1960s and early 1970s, numerous displays of personal and professional memorabilia, a tribute to Cronkite’s passion for the exploration of space, a timeline of his life and much more. 

Admission to the Walter Cronkite Memorial is free. It is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday except for major holidays and scheduled university breaks.

For more information about the Memorial or the anniversary celebration, contact Bailey McCulloch, university curator, at bmcculloch2@missouriwestern.edu

Missouri Western State University is a student-centered learning community preparing individuals for lives of excellence through applied learning. 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 missouriwestern.edu.