Hemmer reflects on time at Elder

Fox News Channels Bill Hemmer was once a 1983 senior at Elder.

courtesy of the Elderado

Fox News Channel’s Bill Hemmer was once a 1983 senior at Elder.

As a youngster, Bill Hemmer found himself living the life of a typical Westside boy awaiting his time to enter high school.

Growing up in the Delhi area, Hemmer was a student at Our Lady of Victory, torn about his decision of whether to attend Elder or St. X. Luckily, his older brother Andy chose Elder which impacted his decision greatly.

“I remember going to The Pit, I think it was the seventh grade for an Elder vs. Moeller game. It was sold out and just an awesome atmosphere, and I think that’s what pretty much sealed the deal,” told Hemmer.

Reflecting back on his first day he told me, “I jumped out of bed and I don’t ever think I looked back since. I was really excited to be a part of something bigger than myself, get a sense of community, get a structure in my life, and to be around people I could trust and call friends.”

1983 Varsity Football (Elderado)

Being a four-year football player while adding on an honorable mention all-city defensive back award his senior year, Hemmer succeeded in his time as an athlete at Elder. Despite his success in the sport, he proceeded to tell me that he quit for a day during his sophomore year. He told his dad, “I’ve had it.” Yet when waking up the next day he told me, “I woke up on a different side of the bed that next morning and thankfully the team took me back.” He also added that he played club basketball and some baseball for a short period of time.

When asked about the impact athletics had on his Elder experience, he shared a few valuable points with me.

“I think the overall takeaway is the discipline that is required at a young age. I think having that is very important. It gives you structure, it helps you create goals, and it forces you to schedule your life in a way where probably up to that age, you have not done,” explained Hemmer.

He also ended by stressing the fact that sports don’t last forever, yet it’s vital to undertake those responsibilities of time management and dedication at that moment in your life.

Aside from his athletic career, his work as a student was nothing short of impressive as well. Due to his interest in journalism and communications, Hemmer and one his friends started a radio program their senior year which entailed playing music over the PA system. Although according to his word that it was short lived, lasting only about three weeks, he told me it had an impact. Before school at 7:30am, he and his buddy were given permission to play “bad rock ‘n’ roll” records up in the tower.

Despite his interest in journalism during high school, he told me that he saw his career following in the footsteps of his father in sales. However, things turned out differently as he went on to receive a bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism at Miami University. From then on, he never looked back as he climbed the ladder to the top of America’s news media.

He started as a radio disc jockey for Miami jazz at WMUB-TV and WOXY-FM. Following that, he joined an NBC affiliate and then returned home to WLWT-TV and WCPO-TV serving in sports production to eventually taking over the position of weekend sports anchor. Following that, he worked for CNN from 1995-2005. Since 2005, he has worked for New York City-based Fox News Channel serving as the co-anchor of America’s Newsroom.

Purple Friday tie (biography)

When asked how Elder prepared him for the career he is in, he responded by saying, “I always had a sense of camaraderie at Elder. I really liked being there and I really liked being around the other guys. The requirement of teamwork is something that I took away. If you choose to be a leader with the right people, you can develop something pretty good. I think about my job today and we have a team, and that team is required to perform every day. I’m considered one of the leaders on that team and if I’m coming to play, then I think we have a pretty good chance of being successful.”

Having seen many successful global figures and events along the way, Hemmer told me that he wanted a job where he could learn something new every day.

“Why is that important? It’s important because you want to challenge your brain, so you don’t get bored. When you get bored, life gets stale. When life gets stale, you are no longer fresh,” he expressed.

Keeping up with the Purple Friday tradition, you can spot him wearing a shade of purple, usually a tie, each Friday on the broadcast. In doing so, his goal is to walk in unison with the people back home here in Price Hill.

He has no regrets when thinking back on his experience and the time he spent here at Elder. He said, “You don’t realize it now at age 17, but you will be a part of that community forever and that’s special.”

To close off, I asked if he had any advice to give to the current and future students of Elder. He shared, “They always say find something you love and if there’s something that you’ve stumbled across, keep that it mind as you go through life because you might find that it may come to surprise you.”

I want to personally thank Mr. Hemmer for taking the time to speak with me about his experience and share his unique story that has led him to the place he is today.

1983 Purple Quill Staff (Elderado)