Brewster Announces 2024 Commencement Speaker: Journalist Meg Kissinger 

Brewster Announces 2024 Commencement Speaker: Journalist Meg Kissinger 
Suzanne Morrissey

Groundbreaking investigative journalist and author Meg Kissinger will be the keynote speaker at Brewster Academy’s Commencement ceremony on May 25, 2024. Ms. Kissinger spent more than two decades traveling across the country writing about America’s mental health system for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Her work on the abysmal housing conditions of people with chronic mental illness led to the creation of more than 600 new housing units in Milwaukee. She has been honored with two George Polk awards, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, and the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel.

In 2009, Ms. Kissinger and Susanne Rust were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in investigative reporting for their work uncovering the government’s failure to protect the public from dangerous chemicals in everyday products. Those stories won several awards, including the Oakes Award and the National Journalism Award for Public Service. Her reputation as a serious journalist tackling the most challenging topics of our time has made her a sought-after advisor and educator—she has consulted on projects for Frontline, ProPublica, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Seattle Times, and the Solutions Journalism Network, among others. Ms. Kissinger teaches investigative reporting at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and was a visiting professor at DePauw University, her alma mater. 

Ms. Kissinger’s book, While You Were Out: An Intimate Portrait of Mental Illness in an Era of Silence (Celadon Books, 2022), has earned accolades for its searing and honest portrayal of her own family’s struggles with mental health and the death by suicide of two of her siblings. Among many glowing reviews, The New York Times Book Review said of the memoir, “The raw intimacy of [Meg Kissinger’s] prose exemplifies the empathy our society so desperately needs.”

Brewster is thrilled to welcome such an accomplished storyteller to campus for Commencement. For more information about Commencement Week events, please visit the Class of 2024 webpage here. And to see Ms. Kissinger’s interview with “CBS Mornings” about While You Were Out, click here