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Adam Schefter’s Midwest tour brings him to alma mater Northwestern and Marquette to honor an ESPN predecessor, Pete Axthelm

NFL Insider Adam Schefter took a bit of a break from the daily grind this week — but don’t call it a vacation.

While he’s still been reporting free agent signings and other NFL news, Schefter visited Chicago and Milwaukee for a couple of speaking engagements.

He started his Midwest tour on Tuesday in The Windy City where he did some work with ESPN Radio 1000 before spending Wednesday in nearby Evanston at Northwestern University, one of his alma maters.

The 1990 graduate of the prestigious Medill School of Journalism visited with head coach Pat Fitzgerald and the Wildcats football team — they even presented him with a Northwestern helmet for his famed bookcase. He also addressed a group of Medill students and conducted a guest lecture (which can be seen here).

“Being back at any college, but especially your college, is so mentally stimulating,” Schefter said. “There are books and professors and ideas and discussions, and it makes you think the way you did when you were in school, trying to make your way in life.

“To get to go back to Medill, where I spent a year for my graduate degree, was an honor,” he said. “It marked my first time back since I went to school there over 20 years ago. The day was a touchdown, all the way around.”

Schefter’s trip continued Thursday with a visit to Marquette University in Milwaukee where he delivered the Axthelm Memorial Lecture.

The event is part of the Pete and Bonnie Axthelm Memorial Program that was established in 1994 to acknowledge and recognize the life of Pete Axthelm – a former ESPN NFL analyst and an accomplished sports writer – and his sister Bonnie.

“[ESPN Executive Vice President] Norby Williamson called me a year ago and said that Pete’s widow, Nancy, requested I speak at Marquette,” said Schefter, who in two weeks will once again be part of ESPN’s NFL Draft coverage. “That was all I needed to hear. I didn’t personally know Pete, but I heard a lot about him. He was a pioneer in our industry and a fantastic writer.”

Above are some photos of Axthelm from the early ESPN years when he was a regular on NFL PrimeTime with Chris Berman and Tom Jackson. Also included in the gallery are photos from Schefter’s appearance at Medill.

Note: For more on Schefter’s Midwest trip, he was interviewed this week by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and The Daily Northwestern (as well as The Rohan Report podcast), where he spoke about a wide range of topics.

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