- Years at WGBH: 1970-2007
- Positions: Producer of cultural programming, Vice President and General Manager, President
From WGBH — 4/26/2007
After guiding WGBH for more than 35 years, President Henry Becton Jr. will become Vice Chair of the organization’s board when he steps down as president in October.
Becton announced last December that he would step down October 1 after serving 23 years as president. In his new role as Vice Chair, he will continue to play a pivotal role at WGBH, serving as senior editorial advisor and assisting with strategic initiatives at a time of unprecedented expansion in the media world.
As Becton transitions to his new role, an endowed fund has been established in his honor, initiated by a $1 million matching grant from longtime WGBH Trustee and benefactor David Mugar. The Becton Fund will support young producers, per Becton’s request.
Henry was also honored with the Ralph Lowell Award, the top honor in public broadcasting.
I remember Henry from a unique perspective: he was my production assistant and a damned good one.
Yes, he was quiet, but he was quietly efficient.
I can only hope that he learned a little then about how to make it possible for creative people to work creatively. Managing a place like WGBH is unlike managing any other kind of institution, and he has done it brilliantly.
The new building is nice, but his true legacy is the high quality of creative programs done in his time, and the long list of men and women who were challenged to do their best.
I remember first meeting Henry when I was a volunteer in ‘GBH’s Auction office. We were seated at the same table for the kick-off to Auction Week for major volunteers. Henry was gracious, as he is with everyone at ‘GBH, but I didn’t really think that he would remember me.
One or two years later, I moved to Major Gifts to volunteer my time there. It was a big change for me as i had been at Auction for 7 years and I wasn’t sure if I had made the right decision leaving all my close ‘GBH friends in Auction.
Shortly after I began, I ran into Henry in the hall near our offices. He stopped me, told me that it was good to see me and welcomed me to the “other side” of ‘GBH. That day, along with the warm welcome that I had received at Major Gifts, sealed my decision about my new position. Henry had thanked me for coming over to lend my time and effort to a new position and I knew that ‘GBH was still my second home.
Thank you Henry for allowing me to become a small part of a fabulous organization that I am so proud to be associated with because of your amazing leadership and vision.