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Esteemed journalist Marvin Kalb delivered the first Geyer Lecture in 2016. He was a long-time colleague and friend of the late Georgie Anne Geyer, right. Gera-Lind Kolarik ’75, left.

This article appeared in The Magazine of Dominican University (November 2019)

Relationship and Influence

At the heart of Dominican University, and Rosary College before it, is relationship—between students, faculty, staff and sisters; and between students themselves. These relationships have the potential to influence students far beyond their years at the university. As evidenced by the alumnae profiled in the following article, the Dominican difference has the power to ignite lifetimes of activism and the desire to share with others the values instilled in them as students.

Gera-Lind Kolarik ’75 - Honoring the Legacy of Georgie Anne Geyer

Gera-Lind Kolarik ’75, recipient of the 2015 Caritas Veritas Award, first learned about the extraordinary career of foreign correspondent Georgie Anne Geyer while researching for a journalism class assignment. she was immediately intrigued by the trailblazing journalist who for decades had reported from hotspots around the world and interviews international leaders such as Fidel Castro, Yasser Arafat, Saddam Hussein, and Muammar Gaddafi.

Following graduation, Kolarik worked as a television producer for Chicago's WBBM and WLS and had the opportunity to meet Geyer when she spoke for the Chicago Press Club. The two struck up an acquaintance that deepened into friendship when Gera-Lind created a video documenting Geyer's struggles following surgery to remove her tongue due to cancer.

I was so upset that such an amazing person, who was so talented at interviewing others, was denied the ability to tell her own stories and to inspire others like me," Kolarik said.

In an effort to share Geyer's legacy, Kolarik launched the Georgie Anne Geyer Initiative in 2016, which brings to campus renowned reporters and provides experiential learning scholarships for Dominican students aspiring to be foreign correspondents.

Geyer passed away earlier this year in her Washington, D.C., home. Her legacy continued this fall, when Dominican welcomed Clarissa Ward, chief international correspondent for CNN, as the 2019 Geyer Initiative speaker, on October 2.

Through the Geyer Initiative, Kolarik's admiration for Georgie Anne Geyer will benefit budding young foreign correspondents for many years to come.