ESPN anchor Lisa Gangel Kerney ’04 accepted the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award and delivered the address at Lynn’s 51st commencement ceremonies.
Award-winning broadcast journalist Lisa Gangel Kerney is living proof of how determination, hard work and a Lynn degree can pave the road to happiness, the theme of her commencement address. The former star athlete returned to campus to accept the university’s highest alumni honor and share her inspirational message with nearly 700 graduates.
Upon learning of her selection, Kerney said she could not be more humbled and grateful for the honor.
“Lynn is where I was meant to be. My professors, mentors and fellow students inspired me to dream the craziest dreams and helped me build a foundation of confidence to go after them.”
In her address to graduates, Kerney urged them to build their futures with a single goal: happiness.
“Your happy isn’t my happy, or his happy or her happy, or your mom and dad’s happy,” she said. “Your happy is solely and uniquely yours. It’s your job to find it, live it, love it and leverage it.”
Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Kerney grew up as one of five children in a sports-minded family. An outstanding student and athlete, she attended Lynn on a basketball scholarship. She was point guard for the Fighting Knights women’s basketball team and majored in broadcast communications. Senior year, she was named team captain and Scholar Athlete of the Year.
After graduating with honors, she landed her first industry job at KXLF-TV in Butte, Montana. Kerney joked that her first salary—$18,000 a year—qualified her for low-income housing, a very real introduction to real life. The sacrifices, she said, were worth it. In that small market, she learned all she could about broadcasting, earning the Montana Standard 2005 People’s Choice Awards for “Best Sports Reporter” and “Best TV Personality.”
In 2005, she joined KING-TV in Seattle as weekend sports anchor and host of Northwest Sports Tonight. She also was responsible for the national highlight segment of The Jim Mora Show, which aired after Seattle Seahawks games. In 2010, she accepted a position with the MLB Network as a sports contributor/reporter. In 2012, she advanced to sports anchor for CBS 2 News This Morning with WCBS-TV in New York, where she also co-hosted a morning show, The Couch, covering the tri-state area. She joined ESPN in 2014 as a studio anchor, appearing on various shows across several platforms. She currently anchors SportsCenter.
Kerney is married to Patrick Kerney, former defensive end with the Seattle Seahawks and Atlanta Falcons. They are the parents of three daughters and a son.
A loyal alumna, Lisa Kerney generously gives her time and financial support to Lynn University. She is a member of The Leadership Society and the President’s Alumni Advisory Council.
“Hear this and internalize it: You can live what your dreams show you.”
Lisa Kerney ’04