Barbara Walters made a surprise appearance in Yonkers, NY Friday at the Sarah Lawrence College commencement where she announced she is leaving her personal papers to her alma mater. The Journal News reports Walters, who retired last week, “will send a collection of papers, recordings and photographs that document her decades as a television journalist” to the school.
Walters credited the college for instilling in her a sense of journalistic fearlessness. She recalled an interview she conducted some years ago with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Saving her toughest question for last, Walters recounted asking Putin, a former KGB operative, if he’d ever killed anyone.
“He said, ‘No, that was not my department,’ ” Walters said. “So later, several people said, ‘Where did you get the nerve to ask a question like that?’ And I said, ‘It’s easy. I went to a college where I was not afraid to ask questions.’ And this is that college. That is my contribution to world peace. So I thank Sarah Lawrence for it. I have been asking questions ever since my graduation and this is one more chance today, to wish all of you a wonderful, fulfilling life and to say thank you to this college I love.”