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Judy Woodruff pays tribute to Gwen Ifill at Radcliffe

From left: Lizabeth Cohen, dean of the Radcliffe Institute; Judy Woodruff; Michele Norris; and Drew Gilpin Faust, president of Harvard University. Tony Rinaldo

TV journalist Judy Woodruff paid tribute to her late friend and former “PBS NewsHour” coanchor Gwen Ifill at the Radcliffe Day lunch Friday. The two women were honored with Radcliffe medals, with Ifill’s friend, former “All Things Considered” host Michele Norris, accepting on her behalf.

“I know she felt being a person of color was hard, but it was the dual package that made it harder,” Woodruff said of Ifill’s status as an African-American and a woman in an industry historically dominated by white men. “She didn’t go around complaining. That was not who she was, but she was informed and shaped by her own experiences. She rose above all that. It shaped her and made her more powerful as a presence. We have to give her more credit as a result.”


On a lighter note, Woodruff said she was heartened recently to be approached at an event by two 20-something women who are fans of “PBS NewsHour,” a news show whose demographic skews a little older than millennials.

“They said they never miss the ‘NewsHour,’ ” Woodruff said. “I expected them to say that they listened to our podcast or watched us on their wrist watch, but they said, ‘No, we watch you on our television.’ ”