NPR's Eleanor Beardsley Named Furman Commencement Speaker

Staff Report From Greenville CEO

Friday, February 8th, 2019

Eleanor Beardsley, a 1986 Furman University graduate and international correspondent for National Public Radio, will be the principal speaker at the university’s 193rd commencement Saturday, May 11.

Furman’s commencement exercises are open to the public.

Beardsley began reporting from France for NPR in June 2004 as a freelance journalist, following all aspects of French society, politics, economics, culture and gastronomy. She has since become an integral part of the NPR Europe reporting team and is based in Paris.

Beardsley covered the recent “yellow vest” protests in France as well as the two waves of terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels. She has also reported on arriving refugees in Hungary, Austria, Germany, Sweden and France, and traveled to Athens to follow the Greek debt crisis.

She covered the first Arab Spring revolution in Tunisia, and has reported on three presidential elections in France, including the surprising landslide victory of outsider Emmanuel Macron in 2016. She has covered the Tour de France cycling race and visited her old stomping ground—Kosovo—to report for NPR on three separate occasions.

Prior to moving to Paris, Beardsley worked for three years with the United Nations Mission in Kosovo. She also worked as a television producer for French broadcaster TF1 in Washington, D.C., and as a staff assistant to South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond.

A native of South Carolina, Beardsley graduated from Furman with a B.A. in European history and French. She received a master's degree in international business from the University of South Carolina.