CNN political correspondent, Mount Pleasant native Murray speaks at Soaring Eagle


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CNN White House correspondent Sara Murray speaks to the Mount Pleasant Area Community Foundation Women's Initiative on Oct. 16 in the Soaring Eagle Conference Room.

Sara Murray has been complimented, and singled out for insult, by the President of the United States. The CNN political correspondent said even when she was surrounded by a hostile crowd at a campaign event she doesn't regret a moment of her career as a journalist. 

“Journalism is the best job in the world because you have a front row seat to history,” Murray told an audience of more than 400 people Tuesday at the Soaring Eagle Conference Center. “You get to report the first account.”

Murray was speaking as part of the "Look Who's Talking" Speaker Series hosted by the Mount Pleasant Area Community Foundation Women’s Initiative.The series serves as a way to gather donors and to showcase how the initiative is giving back to the community, said Cheryl Guadard, co-chair of the Women's Initiative Fund and Mount Pleasant Area Community Foundation Trustee.

Murray was raised in Mount Pleasant and attended Sacred Heart Academy. She said her parents were both skeptical of her interest in journalism at first. To convince them how passionate she was, she said she began writing for The Morning Sun.

Once Murray's parents were convinced, they helped her attend University of Maryland to study journalism. Her sophomore year of college, she started to look for journalism internships.

“I made a list of 150 different newspapers and what the requirements were to get those internships,” Murray said. “I got rejected by 148 of them.”

When she was a sophomore in college, Murray decided she wanted to work at The Wall Street Journal. After getting in touch with someone at the publication several times over her college career about how she could get a job there, she was offered a position as a news assistant when she graduated.

Murray said she ended up going to CNN because it was one of few news organizations at the time that was training print reporters to be on television and work in broadcast news. 

At CNN, Murray was in charge of covering several 2016 presidential candidate campaigns. She said she was put on covering Donald Trump’s campaign full time.

“I thought, ‘These people are nuts!’,” she said. “I thought we were going to miss the big story.”

Murray said she now recognizes Trump’s campaign as her “big break.”

Grants also were given out Isabella County Child Advocacy Center, Isabella County Foster Closet and Community Compassion network at the event. 

Brittany Sherrill, Mount Pleasant Area Community Foundation program officer, said in addition to grants, many scholarships become available in early January and can be found at mpacf.org. 

Gaudard said funding for grants comes from interest collected from donations made to the Women’s Initiative Fund. The fund was started in 2003 and exceeded it’s $50,000 fundraising goal and raised $80,000 within four weeks of its creation.

“This is something that is so much bigger than something I ever could have hoped to do,” Gaudard said. “It’s going to be going forward for generations to come long after my involvement.”

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