Weekend Edition Sunday

Conceived as a cross between a Sunday newspaper and CBS' Sunday Morning with Charles KuraltWeekend Edition Sunday features interviews with newsmakers, artists, scientists, politicians, musicians, writers, theologians and historians. The program has covered news events from Nelson Mandela's 1990 release from a South African prison to the capture of Saddam Hussein.

Weekend Edition Sunday debuted on January 18, 1987, with host Susan Stamberg. Two years later, Liane Hansen took over the host chair, a position she held for 22 years. In that time, Hansen interviewed movers and shakers in politics, science, business and the arts. Her reporting travels took her from the slums of Cairo to the iron mines of Michigan's Upper Peninsula; from the oyster beds on the bayou in Houma, La., to Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park; and from the kitchens of Colonial Williamsburg, Va., to the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. In the fall of 2011, NPR National Desk Reporter Audie Cornish began hosting the show.

Every week listeners tune in to hear a unique blend of news, features and the regularly scheduled puzzle segment with Puzzlemaster Will Shortz, the crossword puzzle editor of The New York Times.

Weekend Edition Sunday is heard on NPR Member stations across the United States and around the globe via NPR Worldwide. The conversation between the audience and the program staff continues throughout the social media world.

Ariel Alford and Leighton Watson exchange congratulations after Howard Unive...
The Howard Project participants talk about graduating, or not, this weekend — and also describe what it's been like to hear their feelings about their college experience broadcast over the radio.

This weekend, the Class of 2015 graduated from Howard University, a historically black college located about a mile from NPR's headquarters. The new graduates include two of the students who have spent the last semester talking with NPR's Weekend Edition about their college experience.

Leighton Watson and Keven Peterman are still kind of in denial.

"It's very surreal, because I think a lot of people expect you to feel like you've graduated earlier in the process," says Watson. "But it literally didn't hit me until I was walking off of the stage and out."

"I kind of feel like I'm coming back on Monday and going to class on Monday, but in the back of my head I realize that's impossible! So it really kind of hasn't truly set in that it's over," Peterman says.

Taylor Davis, one of the other Howard Project participants, found out a few months ago that she has to re-take some nursing classes in the fall, so she didn't graduate with her friends on Saturday.

"When I came back to school at the beginning of the semester, it was really difficult," she told NPR a few weeks ago. "Hearing the word 'graduation,' I would smile on the outside but it really kinda stung. But right now I'm great."

And Ariel Alford, the fourth participant, has some student teaching to finish up before she graduates in December. But she's already looking ahead to the future. "I'm concerned about the type of woman I'm gonna be, the type of community member I'm gonna be," she says. "And I want my convictions to sustain themselves after I leave this space."

The four students also talked about what it was like to share their observations and personal experiences about their senior year of college — and then hear it broadcast back to them over the radio.

And we look back on the first question NPR asked the students: about where they got the news, and whether they felt connected to the stories they were reading, watching or hearing.

Click on the audio link above to hear their responses, or read excerpts below.


Kevin Peterman

Hometown: Newark, N.J.

Field of Study: Political Science/Education

Aspiring minister

From the first interview: What he sees in this project

"One of the greatest pieces of this is, you don't turn on the radio every day and hear young black people talking. So this is a humbling experience — not because I feel that I'm speaking on behalf of my race, and behalf of my gender within my race, but [because] for once we've been able to truly come and craft our own narrative."


Leighton Watson

Hometown: Grand Rapids, Mich.

Field of Study: English

Aspiring lawyer

Former president of the Howard student body

Today: How it felt to be a part of this process

"For me it's definitely humbling, because I didn't even feel like I really had a story to tell. I felt very average — like, I grew up, middle class to upper middle class. My parents are still together. And then the other thing is, in the position that I have, I oftentimes get asked how I feel about topics. So like, how do I feel about police standards, how do I feel about the president's state of the union.

But this, you guys are asking me how do I feel about myself, and my own experience. Being introspective in that way — I normally don't."


Taylor Davis

Hometown: Memphis, Tenn.

Field of Study: Nursing

Aspiring nurse

Today: How she approached her NPR interviews

"I want to ensure that whenever I have the opportunity to open up my mouth, I'm saying something that's reflective of my beliefs. And so my concern honestly has been with my faith and my blackness. And wanting that to go out and that to be heard."


Ariel Alford

Hometown: Richmond, Va.

Field of Study: History and Africana Studies

Aspiring high school history teacher

From the first interview: Her hopes for this project

"If this is supposed to be a snapshot of what people who look like us and are our age, what we were thinking about — I hope that the future generations that we're speaking to, or even the present day that we're speaking to, know that we're thinking about more than just what we're gonna wear and what date we're gonna go on, what job we're gonna get."

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Sunday Puzzle....
Every answer is the name of a well-known U.S. city. For every word given, ignore the vowels. The word's consonants are the same consonants appearing in the same order as those in the city's name.

On-air challenge: Every answer is the name of a well-known U.S. city. For every word given, ignore the vowels. The word's consonants are the same consonants appearing in the same order as those in the city's name. For example, given the word "amiable," the answer is "Mobile" (Alabama).

Last week's challenge Think of a common two-word phrase for something you might see in a kitchen. Reverse the words — that is, put the second word in front of the first — and you'll name a food, in one word, that you might prepare in a kitchen. What is it?

Answer: Cake pan and pancake.

Winner: Sarah Milstein of Brooklyn, N.Y.

Next week's challenge:

This challenge comes from listener Rudy Simons of Southfield, Mich. The letters of the one-syllable word "groan" can be rearranged to spell "organ," which has two syllables. Here's the challenge: Think of a common one-syllable, five-letter word whose letters can be rearranged to spell a common two-syllable word — and then rearranged again to spell a common three-syllable word. I have two different answers in mind, and it's possible there are others, but you only have to think of one.

Submit Your Answer

If you know the answer to next week's challenge, submit it here. Listeners who submit correct answers win a chance to play the on-air puzzle. Important: Include a phone number where we can reach you Thursday at 3 p.m. Eastern.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Anchoress is inspired by real-life medieval women who lived lives of devotion, locked away in village churches. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with Robyn Cadwallader about her new novel.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.