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Creighton University to induct 28 students at Phi Beta Kappa initiation ceremony April 20

The Creighton University Phi Beta Kappa Society, Chapter Beta of Nebraska, will hold its initiation ceremony April 20, at 3 p.m. in the Hixson-Lied Auditorium at the Harper Center.

Along with 28 student inductees, three individuals with ties to Omaha and Creighton and who have made significant contributions to the world of medicine, the arts and journalism will also be inducted: Omaha native and award-winning actor John Beasley, Creighton alumnus and pioneer in global public health Stephen Luby, MD, BAí81, and reporter and news anchor Mary Alice Williams BAí71.

Beasley, born and raised in North Omaha, began his professional acting career at the age of 45, landing a role alongside Oprah Winfrey in the television series Brewster Place, co-written by poet Maya Angelou. Appearing in numerous movies and television series, including Rudy, The Sum of All Fears, The Generalís Daughter, The Apostle and Treme, Beasley is widely recognized for his stage work, including a turn as Troy Maxson in a revival of August Wilsonís Pulitzer Prize-winning play Fences at the Huntington Theater in Boston. Beasley has never forgotten his roots and has given back to the Omaha community through establishing the John Beasley Theater and Workshop in South Omaha. His work both teaching and directing is a testament to his lifelong commitment to Omaha.

Luby, also born and raised in Omaha, graduated from Creighton in 1981 with a degree in philosophy, and went on to earn his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. Early in his career, Luby lived in Pakistan for five years and Bangladesh for eight, allowing him to work extensively in the public health sector and launch a global career touching millions of lives. His interdisciplinary approach has led to collaborations with entities such as the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the government of Bangladesh and the U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit. He is a prolific researcher, authoring more than 300 scientific articles. In 2009, he was awarded the University of Oklahomaís inaugural International Water Prize for people who have, through research, teaching or service, made international contributions in the field of water supply and sanitation, especially in the developing world. Luby is a professor of Infectious Diseases at Stanford University and also serves as director for research at Stanfordís Center for Innovation in Global Health. He was also appointed a Senior Fellow of Stanfordís Woods Institute for the Environment and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.

A Minneapolis native, Williams earned a bachelorís degree in English and mass communications from Creighton in 1971. She oversaw the construction of CNNís New York bureau in 1980, where she served as bureau chief and as one of the principal political anchors. In 1982, Williams was named vice president at the cable news giant, becoming one of the highest ranking female executives in American television. After her time as CNNís prime-time anchor, Williams ventured to NBC News in 1989, where she co-hosted Sunday Today and Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow. Williams and her fellow team members at NBC won an Emmy for their coverage of the fall of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. She was named an Alpha Sigma Nu honorary inductee for her noteworthy work in journalism and television. As an author, Williams penned a 1999 book, Quiet Triumph, featuring stories of tough times weathered by well-known people. In 2017, Williams was inducted into the Silver Circle of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. She has served as Broadcast Chair for Women in Communications and Mass Media Chair for the National Council of Women. She was a member of the Board of Trustees at Fordham University and served as a board member of the Women in Communications Foundation and an advisor to the New York Foundling. Williams is currently the anchor of NJTV News for the New Jersey public television network.


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