Robert Decker Faw, Jr. '66
Robert Decker Faw, Jr. came to Davidson in 1962 known to us then as Decker. Now known in living rooms across the country and around the world as Bob Faw, a national and international television news correspondent, Bob has spent his entire professional career helping to frame the day’s most important issues for the public to better understand and appreciate.
At Davidson, Bob majored in political science, was an ROTC cadet, secretary of Pi Kappa Phi, a singer in the chorus and performer with the Vagabonds. He went on to obtain his Masters in economics from the London School of Economics, and then to his first job in broadcasting, with KING in Seattle, as a television news reporter. Though Bob has remained in – and on – television ever since, early on in his career he may have had second thoughts. A letter in 1970 from Bob to Davidson’s then-Dean of Students Richard Burts, seeking a letter of recommendation, declares, “I have decided to enter law school. I might return to journalism. I probably will not.”
We will never know what Bob would have accomplished had he in fact gone to law school. But because he did not, what we do know is this:
Bob quickly outgrew KING and signed on as a correspondent with CBS News, where he remained for 25 years. The past 12 years he has been a national correspondent with NBC News. Now in Washington, DC, Bob has been stationed in Chicago, Jerusalem and New York and he has reported from Europe, Asia and Central America.
Bob has received six national Emmy Awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. His work has been cited by the Overseas Press Club in 1982 for coverage of the invasion of Lebanon by Israel, in 1999 for coverage of the conflict in Kosovo, and in 2000 for reporting on African famine. His Emmys are a tribute to his excellence in reporting on such issues as Reverend Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign in 1984 (which led to a book on the subject Bob co-authored) and a series on racism in 1986. Bob has been recognized by the Alfred E. DuPont Foundation, the American Political Sciences Association, and Sigma Delta Chi, the professional journalism society. His reporting from Germany on the fastest growing Jewish community in the world – and the particular difficulties of unemployment and social isolation – appeared in this country on PBS, and recently received the coveted RIAS prize in Berlin.
During his successful professional career, Bob has remained faithful to Davidson, through his consistent support of the Annual Fund and his willingness to return to campus to share his experience and expertise with the college community.
For your distinguished career in which you courageously seek and report stories involving the most important issues of the day; for the profound affect your reporting has had on your audience, and for the recognition you have received from your peers, we honor you, Robert Decker Faw, Jr., with the Distinguished Alumnus Award on the occasion of the 40th Reunion of the Class of 1966, this 29th day of April, 2006.