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Harry Hairston ’77 to Address Commencement Ceremony for Gannon University, Erie Campus

Published: 04/13/2021

Harry Hairston ’77, retired senior investigative reporter for NBC10 Philadelphia.

Harry Hairston ’77, retired senior investigative reporter for NBC10 Philadelphia.

Harry Hairston ’77, a retired senior investigative reporter for NBC10 Philadelphia, will be the keynote speaker at Gannon University’s Commencement Ceremony on May 8 at Erie Insurance Arena.

Gannon will award Hairston a Doctor of Humane Letters degree, honoris causa, during the ceremony.

Hairston recently retired as senior investigative reporter for NBC10 Philadelphia, where he worked for 17 years.

Hairston received several Mid-Atlantic Emmy® awards during his career with NBC10. He was the first to report on the sexual allegations filed against actor and comedian Bill Cosby. In 2015, he was the first in the nation to report aggravated indecent sexual assault charges filed against Cosby. Hairston’s reporting also heavily influenced and helped strengthen New Jersey’s anti-swatting laws. In 2013, he was recognized for an investigative series that uncovered candy drop box scammers, which led to their arrest and conviction. His work also led to stronger accountability processes within City Hall after he exposed how Philadelphia officials could not account for $21 million in missing items purchased with taxpayers’ money.

In 2012, Hairston received a Mid-Atlantic Emmy for his exclusive jailhouse interview with Rabbi Fred Neulander, who was serving time inside New Jersey's maximum-security state prison for the 1994 murder of his wife. Hairston received another Emmy in 2012 for his exclusive report on a New Jersey schoolteacher who bullied a special needs student in class, garnering national and international attention.

In 2011, Hairston was named “Journalist of the Year” by the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists.

Hairston’s passion has been to be the voice for those who feel they aren’t being heard. Through his work with NBC10 Responds, he helped viewers with consumer issues gain back more than $1 million. 

Hairston is a native of Pittsburgh. He participates in many community causes around heart disease, cancer research, mental health research and education, diversity and community improvement. Hairston also supports the dedication of first responders. His hobbies include playing golf and tennis, and riding motorcycles.