Jane Pauley’s smile is immediate as she arrives at the reception. For more than 30 years, Jane’s been that familiar face and respected journalist we’ve come to know and trust. Truth be told, more than 300 “fans” like me turned out at the Union League Club of Chicago to meet and hear Jane speak about her current book, Your Life Calling: Reimagining the Rest of Your Life, because she has been and remains a role model for generations of women who watched JanePaulyher life unfold before us on national television. With classic style and grace, Jane was honest and inspiring as she wove the story of her own life along with the personal journeys of the men and women she’s showcased in her book.
Jane’s enthusiasm is motivating. Meeting her at this particular stage of her life is energizing. During my turn at the author’s table, it felt as though I was talking with a friend – reintroduced from long ago. To quote her, “Reinvention may require being reintroduced to yourself.” Our conversation brought back memories of my baby boomer college days filled with a daily dose of catching the younger Jane as the co-anchor on the Chicago station WMAQ-TV and watching along with my roommates her advancement into the Barbara Walters slot on the NBC Today Show a year later. She set a new standard and we gladly stepped along.
We often hear about the theory of six degrees of separation… that everyone is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world…so it didn’t surprise me to learn of Jane Pauley’s connection to the National Federation of Press Women where today I serve on its elected board. Jane topped the list of speakers at the June 6-10, 1979 NFPW Convention (as it was called back then) hosted by the Women’s Press Club of Indiana in Indianapolis where she was awarded an honorary membership for her achievements.
She represented the aspirations and goals of many women, particularly in my generation. We could relate to her then. After listening to her and reading her book we relate to her even more now. Jane continues to guide us as we navigate the unknowns of our lives and assures us we are “all in this together.”