CBS News journalist Michelle Miller will receive the 2022 University of New Orleans Homer L. Hitt Distinguished Alumni Award. Additionally, Lauren Gibbs, owner and CEO of Gibbs Construction, has been named the 2022 Norma Jane Sabiston Distinguished Young Alumna of the Year. Both will be celebrated at a gala at the National WWII Museum on November 9, 2022.
“Michelle personifies the Privateer spirit of determination,” said President John Nicklow. “She works tirelessly to inform audiences about some of the most important and pressing issues in an effort to improve the world around us. She is a wonderful representative of our university.”
Miller is a co-host of “CBS Saturday Morning.” Her work regularly appears on “CBS Mornings,” “CBS Sunday Morning” and the CBS Evening News. She also files reports for “48 Hours” and anchors Discovery’s “48 Hours on ID” and “Hard Evidence.”
Since joining CBS News in 2004, Miller has reported on stories of national and international importance. From presidential elections to the climate crisis, her area of coverage is wide-ranging, but her reporting around social justice has been particularly groundbreaking.
Miller has earned several prestigious journalism awards including an Emmy for her series of reports on the National Guard's Youth Challenge Academy, an Edward R. Murrow Award for her coverage of a day care center stand-off in New Orleans, and she was part of the Alfred I. duPont – Columbia Award winning team for coverage the Newtown, Conn., school shooting. In 2019, Miller won a Gracie award for her reporting on the hidden world of sex trafficking in “‘48 Hours’: Live to Tell: Trafficked.”
Miller previously worked at WWL-TV, the CBS affiliate in New Orleans. She earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Howard University and a master's degree in urban studies from the University of New Orleans.
Miller will be the 39th honoree to receive the Homer L. Hitt Distinguished Alumni Award. The honoree is selected by a committee of former award recipients.
Lauren Gibbs is the second-generation owner of Gibbs Construction, a leading commercial, industrial and institutional general contractor founded by her father in 1976. Based in New Orleans, it serves Louisiana and the Gulf Coast.
Lauren Gibbs took the helm in 2019 after serving in a variety of roles in the company including estimator, project coordinator, project engineer, project manager, executive in charge and vice president. She holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in engineering/construction management, both from Vanderbilt University, and an MBA from the University of New Orleans.
“Like so many of our graduates, Lauren has used her degree from UNO to gain a deeper understanding of her discipline and give her an edge in her industry,” Nicklow said. “I am also so grateful that she continues to work with our engineering and construction management programs to help ensure that our students receive a state-of-the-art education. Our graduates are leaders across the globe, and Lauren is a great example of that.”
The 2022 Homer L. Hitt Distinguished Alumni Gala will be held on Nov. 9, 2022 from 7:30-10 p.m. at the National WWII Museum: Boeing Freedom Pavilion. For ticket and sponsorship information, click here.