Loyola University Chicago

University Newsroom

Press Release - October 25, 2023

Primary Contact:
Destiny Woods

Secondary Contact:
Matthew McDermott 

Loyola University Chicago to Host Life’s Work of Renowned CBS Journalist Bill Plante

CHICAGO – October 25, 2023

Meticulous notes from Bill Plante (BS ’59) spanning half a century of the renowned journalist’s career covering breaking news from the civil rights movement to four presidencies will find a home at Loyola University Chicago. Plante’s widow, Robin Smith, is honoring the first anniversary of her husband’s passing by donating his notebooks, calendars, correspondence, and CBS News story scripts to the University.

Plante, who passed away in 2022, got his broadcast start on Chicago radio while a Loyola student. He would go on to become one of the longest-serving White House broadcast journalists in history during a 52-year career at CBS. He was known for his incisive writing, his ability to break stories, and his unwavering ethical compass.

“As the place where Bill began his career in journalism, I know it would bring him so much joy to know that his papers will forever be a part of Loyola,” said Smith. “He loved participating in programs on current events at the University – and his work will continue to inspire future journalists and broadcasters to pursue the highest standards of integrity in their field.”

The recipient of countless top journalism awards over his career, including multiple Emmy honors and a lifetime achievement award from the White House Correspondents Association, Plante was recognized by the WCHA as someone, “beloved in the press corps for his kindness, but [who] didn’t pull punches with the politicians he covered.”

Plante served for many years on the Board of Trustees of Loyola University Chicago, achieving Lifetime Trustee status. In 2015, a chair was established in his name in the School of Communication and in 2016, he was conferred the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. His collection will be housed in Loyola’s library for use by future generations of students and academic researchers.

Elizabeth Coffman, interim dean of the School of Communication, is proud to have Plante’s legacy represented at Loyola. “Bill Plante is one of America’s most respected journalists. Hosting his life’s work here on campus is not only a symbol of our belief in the values for which he strived–honesty, courage, and an unwavering commitment to civil rights and democratic values–but a unique opportunity for our students and faculty to directly engage with the creative process of a true pioneer in the field of communication.”

On November 6, the School of Communication will host the Bill Plante Conversation to celebrate the generous donation with a one-hour event featuring leading journalists discussing the journalistic skills and values Plante brought to his work:

  • Jill Geisler – Bill Plante Chair in Leadership and Media Integrity (Moderator)
  • Robin Smith – Bill Plante’s widow and award-winning filmmaker
  • Bill Owens – executive producer of CBS “60 Minutes”
  • Lesley Stahl – CBS “60 Minutes” correspondent
  • Ed O’Keefe – CBS White House and chief political correspondent
  • Dorothy Tucker – investigative reporter, CBS2-WBBM-TV, immediate past president of the National Association of Black Journalists


About Loyola University Chicago
Founded in 1870, Loyola University Chicago is one of the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic universities, with nearly 16,600 students. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy, as well as course locations in Vernon Hills, Illinois (Cuneo Mansion and Gardens), and a Retreat and Ecology Campus in Woodstock, Illinois. The University features 15 schools, colleges, and institutes. Ranked a leading national university by U.S. News & World Report, Loyola is also among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by prestigious national organizations including AmeriCorps and the Carnegie Foundation. To learn more about Loyola, visit LUC.edu or follow us on Twitter via @LoyolaChicago.

About the School of Communication
Located in Chicago, one of the world’s great communication centers, the School of Communication provides an ideal setting for integrating study with practical application in the expanding field of communication. Students benefit from a distinguished scholarly faculty working with experienced professionals in the areas of journalism, media studies, public advocacy, film and documentary production, game design, advertising, as well as cultural and strategic communication. Now celebrating its 15th year, the school offers state-of-the-art on-site production facilities, labs, and equipment, as well as proximity to Chicago’s vast production community. Loyola is home to a 24-hour FM radio station, an award-winning student newspaper, and an extensive internship program. To learn more about the school, visit LUC.edu/communication or follow us on Twitter or on Facebook.