Stephen Lee Salyer '72
During his student years, Steve Salyer's classmates knew that his future career would influence people on a large scale. His involvement in student government, the Union Board and the North Carolina Fellows Program gave hints of this. His appointment to President Nixon's Commission on Population Growth and the American Future during this time did not surprise anyone on campus. Neither did his work in the area of world population issues after graduation, including his Watson Fellowship to study population policies in Africa.
In 1979 he joined WNET/New York and began his work in public radio. For the next nine years, he managed various departments from program development to marketing to research. During this time he founded the first research center within public broadcasting, The Learning Lab, and started a nation-wide computer network for schools, known as Learning Link.
In 1988 he moved to Public Radio International as president, chief executive officer and director. During the last nine years, PRI has grown from 295 affiliate stations to over 550 and from annual revenues of $2.3 million to over $16 million. Its leading programs--Marketplace, A Prairie Home Companion and Schickele Mix--inform and delight public radio audiences around the country. In 1994 he led the effort to create America One, a 24 hour public radio program service available throughout Europe and North Africa. In 1995 he co-chaired a task force on Public Radio in the Information Future, designed to explore future challenges and opportunities for public radio.
Because the Alumni Association takes pride in your work to provide meaningful and affirming programming for radio listeners and to encourage humane public policies for population growth issues, we are honored to recognize your considerable accomplishments with this Distinguished Alumnus Award to you, Stephen L. Salyer, on the occasion of your class' Twenty-fifth Reunion, April 19, 1997. We give it with the hope that it will encourage you to continue your work in the world.