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Newswise — KENOSHA, Wis. – Drawing from experiences that helped her endure 140 days in a North Korean prison, Emmy-winning broadcast journalist Laura Ling urged Carthage College’s graduating class to “always have hope.”

Delivering the 2015 Commencement address, she described the memories of heroic people she had interviewed over the years that changed her mindset from hopeless to hopeful. She began to engage her captors, and a guard who previously spouted only hateful propaganda gently advised her to maintain hope.

Now director of development for Discovery Digital Networks, Ling said the search for those common threads of humanity in a diverse world drew her into journalism. She reminded 530 graduates at the May 24 Carthage ceremony that American freedom “is a nonexistent concept for others.” She urged them to seize that freedom and use it to mold a better world.


Carthage College combines an environment of reflection and self-discovery with a culture of high expectation so our students uncover and ignite their true potential. A four-year, private liberal arts college with roots in the Lutheran tradition, the campus has a prime location in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The campus, an 80-acre arboretum on the shore of Lake Michigan, is home to 150 scholars, 2,500 full-time students, and 400 part-time students.

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