Headmaster Randy S. Stevens surveyed the graduating seniors of St. Timothy's School - where the motto is French for "Truth without Fear" - and asked them to consider the example of a woman who once sat in their place.
"There is no better role model for you today of someone that understands what St. Timothy's school mission really means than Kimberly Dozier," Stevens told the Class of 2006 yesterday during commencement exercises at the private boarding school for girls in Baltimore County.
"Kim's life and work has been about going out and seeking the truth without fear," Stevens said. "Certainly she has taken incredible risks to make sure the story gets told."
The CBS News correspondent, who graduated from St. Timothy's in 1984, remained yesterday at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the U.S. Army hospital in Germany where she was recovering from surgery after a car-bomb attack in Iraq last week that killed two of her co-workers and an Army officer.
Dozier was sitting up, eating solid food and talking with her family, according to a story posted yesterday on the CBS News Web site. A planned return to the United States yesterday was delayed to allow the transfer of wounded soldiers with more pressing medical needs. Her flight to Andrews Air Force Base may leave tomorrow.
At St. Timothy's, where Dozier played lacrosse, acted in a production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and won a prize for spoken English, students have followed her progress and written her notes. The school had asked her to come speak with students about her work, but her continuing coverage of the war in Iraq had left her unable to commit to a date.
As faculty bid farewell yesterday to the 28 members of the Class of 2006, teachers remembered Dozier's time at St. Timothy's, where she also sang opera, helped build theater sets and spent a semester abroad in Britain.
"She exemplifies to me what a St. Tim's student is and does," said longtime drama teacher Tom Cascella, with whom Dozier worked on several productions.
"She is someone who takes risks," Cascella said. "Someone who isn't afraid to experience different adventures. And someone that tries to give back."
History department Chairwoman Louise Pistell, who taught and coached Dozier, remembered her as disciplined, focused and interested in the world beyond the school.
"She's an excellent role model," Pistell said. "She goes right on in and tells the whole story. ... We've been following her career with great interest."
Dozier was wounded while assembling a Memorial Day story on life in Iraq for U.S. troops. She had traveled with the 4th Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division to the central Baghdad district of Karradah in an armored Humvee, according to the CBS News story. But she was out on the street, accompanying U.S. troops as they inspected an Iraqi Army checkpoint, when the bomb exploded.
Killed in the blast were Army Capt. James A. Funkhouser of Katy, Texas, and CBS cameramen James Brolan and Paul Douglas, both British nationals.
At St. Timothy's yesterday, Stevens told the graduates that Dozier has set "an extraordinary example."
"It is clear that she is someone who has always had a real passion for humankind," he said. "She does not want people to be disconnected from what is going on in this world. And I think she realizes that in order to tell that story, it requires some risk on her part to get into the places where the story can be told honestly and objectively.
"She is constantly a student, learning something new every day, and she wants to share what she has learned with others in hopes that we may better understand our world and our responsibility to it."
In an address in which he also quoted Mark Twain and E.B. White, Stevens linked Dozier and Paul Rusesabagina, the former Kigali, Rwanda, hotel manager whose efforts to save hundreds of his countrymen from genocide were chronicled in the film Hotel Rwanda.
"What Paul Rusesabagina and Kimberly Dozier teach us is that ordinary men and women of courage and commitment can and have changed the world," he said. "What drives them and what unites them, it seems to me, is that they are not only men and women of commitment, but men and women with the courage of their convictions. Their lives reflect a grounded belief in human dignity and a passionate concern for individual freedom, courageously and unwaveringly held."
The Associated Press contributed to this article.