Award-winning television journalist and author, she was the longest-running host on early morning television on Good Morning America

Joan Lunden, award-winning television journalist and best-selling author, will be the principal speaker at Lafayette’s 175th Commencement on Saturday, May 22, 2010, and will be awarded an honorary degree.

“I’m delighted that Joan Lunden will address our graduates and parents at Commencement,” says President Daniel H. Weiss. “She is a highly recognized and accomplished journalist and a passionate advocate for wellness who has inspired many people to take charge of their health.”

Lunden was co-host of ABC’s Good Morning America from 1980 to 1997. The longest-running host ever on early morning television, she reported from 26 countries, covering four presidents, five Olympic Games, and two royal weddings.

She is currently host of Lifetime Television’s Health Corner, a weekly series educating women on issues such as improving health, childcare, nutrition, and medicine. She also is the host of DirecTV’s Hometown Heroes, which highlights extraordinary civilians whose stories impact lives across the country. Lunden hosted the 2007 CW Network program America’s Invisible Children, which won an Emmy for Outstanding Television Special.

Lunden has served as a national spokesperson for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the American Lung Association’s campaign on the dangers of smoking and pregnancy, and the American Red Cross. She is currently a spokesperson for the “First Steps to a Healthy Smile” program of Oral B and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The mother of seven children, Lunden is a vocal advocate for good parenting. She was voted Mother of the Year by the National Mothers Day Committee and Career Mother of the Year by the National Institute of Infant Services. She and her husband recently launched a child safety product, Kinderkord, which is designed to help parents and children stay connected.

Lunden’s books include Growing Up Healthy: Protecting Your Child From Diseases Now Through Adulthood; Wake-Up Calls: Making the Most Out of Every Day; A Bend in the Road Is Not the End of the Road; Joan Lunden’s Healthy Living; Joan Lunden’s Healthy Cooking; Mother’s Minutes; Your Newborn Baby: Everything You Need to Know; and Good Morning, I’m Joan Lunden.

A skilled horsewoman, she created Camp Reveille, a retreat for women to energize their spirits, create goals, and learn how to achieve healthier balance in their lives. Her latest venture is an online personal health-record system called PassportMD, which allows users to manage their family’s health.

Lunden has a liberal arts degree from Sacramento State University. She also studied Spanish and anthropology at Mexico City’s Universidad de Las Américas.