Updated from the original Dec. 9, 2016 post.
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (Dec. 231) – Visiting Professor Constance (Connie) Mitchell Ford ’77 delivered Merrill College’s commencement address today.
A native of Washington, D.C., Ford talked to Merrill’s graduates about her view that, “journalism, despite the rapid changes and constant turmoil, remains a fantastic career.”
“It’s not easy, but it’s still exciting,” she said. “I’ve traveled all over the world and discovered some fascinating things about this country and other countries; talked to people I never would have had the privilege to interview–both big wigs and small fry–had I not represented a major media organization.”
A Journalist’s Career
Before coming to Merrill, Ford was a financial journalist who spent 35 years covering economics, banking, investing and real estate. Most of those years were spent at The Wall Street Journal in New York, where she started as a bond-market reporter and advanced to become a Bureau Chief managing economics and real-estate reporting teams. She has written about the U.S. government’s addiction to debt, South Africa’s economy after apartheid, the boom town that is Beijing, the rise and fall of the subprime mortgage market and financial engineering on Wall Street, among many other things.
Ford said she ended up in business journalism because there were so many questions to answer: “I always wanted to know why some people were rich and some poor, why some countries are rich and some poor, how much money does a family need to live comfortably and why in the world do banks lend money to people when they aren’t really sure those people will pay it back.”
She received an undergraduate degree in Journalism from the University of Maryland in 1977 and a Master’s degree in Economics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1979.
Also see: Senior Dymond Green named student commencement speaker.