Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to Keynote Newhouse’s Toner Prize Celebration March 25

By Wendy S. Loughlin

February 20, 2019
Photo of Larry Hogan
Larry Hogan

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan will be the keynote speaker at the award ceremony for the Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting March 25 in Washington, D.C.

The Toner Prize, sponsored by the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, honors the life and work of late alumna Robin Toner ’76, the first woman to be national political correspondent for The New York Times.

Hogan was sworn in as Maryland’s 62nd governor on Jan. 21, 2015. He was re-elected in 2018 as only the second Republican in the state’s 243 -year history to serve two terms.

Hogan is being courted by Republican critics of Donald Trump to mount a primary challenge to the president in 2020. He has managed to remain popular with Marylanders across the political spectrum with a job approval rating of 69 percent in recent polls.

Hogan has presided over record job growth in Maryland, directing $25 billion to local K-12 education and committing $4 billion to restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. He has supported investments in the state’s transportation infrastructure, including the $5.6 billion Purple Line light rail project in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. He was the first governor in the nation to declare a full-scale state of emergency in response to the opioid crisis. In 2018, he was elected as vice chair of the National Governors Association.

Prior to his election, Hogan spent more than 25 years building and running small businesses in the private sector.

Past keynote speakers for the Toner Prize Celebration include U.S. Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, former Ohio Governor John Kasich, President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Vice President Joe Biden, Rep. John Lewis of Georgia and former Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.

This is the ninth year the $5,000 prize has been awarded in a national competition. Past awardees include David Fahrenthold of The Washington Post, Alec MacGillis of ProPublica, Dan Balz of The Washington Post, Karen Tumulty of The Washington Post, Molly Ball of The Atlantic, Jane Mayer of The New Yorker and Craig Harris of The Arizona Republic. A team of reporters from The Washington Post won the prize last year for their coverage of candidate Roy Moore and the Alabama Senate race.

This year’s winner will be announced at the ceremony next month.

Toner graduated from Syracuse with dual degrees in journalism and political science. She started her journalism career with The Charleston Daily Mail in West Virginia and reported for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution before arriving at The Times in 1985. She was married to journalist Peter Gosselin and was the mother of now 21-year-old twins, Nora and Jacob.

In her nearly 25 years with The Times, she covered five presidential campaigns, scores of congressional and gubernatorial races and most of the country’s major political and policy issues. Toner's work was distinguished by her expertise and insight, meticulous fact-checking and elegant writing style.

The late Senator Edward M. Kennedy described Toner as “a reporter's reporter who deeply cared about the people and the issues she covered.”

Her family, friends and classmates have created the Robin Toner Program in Political Reporting at the Newhouse School to honor her life and work.

The event will begin at 6 p.m. at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1616 Rhode Island Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. Tickets and tables may be purchased online at cc.syr.edu/toner2019.

For more information, contact Audrey Burian at aaburian@syr.edu. Press requests should be directed to Wendy Loughlin at wsloughl@syr.edu.