The Catholic University of America

April 12, 2007

White House Spokesman Tony Snow to Speak at CUA Commencement

Veterans Affairs Secretary R. James Nicholson to Speak at Law School Commencement

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow

WASHINGTON, D.C. - White House Press Secretary Tony Snow will address graduates at The Catholic University of America's 118th Annual Commencement Ceremony, to be held Saturday, May 12, 2007.

The topic of Snow's address will be "Reason, Faith, Vocation."

Snow, a veteran broadcaster, political commentator and newspaper columnist, was selected to succeed Scott McClellan as spokesman for the George W. Bush administration. In April 2006 Snow arrived at the White House armed with more than 20 years of media experience in print, radio and television.

Prior to his appointment, he was a weekend news anchor and political analyst for the Fox News Channel, where he went to work in 1996. Snow also had his own show on Fox News Radio.

Before going into broadcast journalism Snow was a nationally syndicated columnist for both The Detroit News and USA Today. He started his career in print journalism in 1979 as an editorial writer for The Greensboro Record in North Carolina and went on to hold editorial posts at the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, the Daily Press in Newport News, Va., and The Washington Times.

This is Snow's second stint with the White House - he also served as President George H.W. Bush's director of speechwriting in 1991, and went on to a position as deputy assistant to the president for media affairs.

"I have long admired Tony's objectivity and integrity as a journalist," says Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., Catholic University's president. "His current position as White House press secretary has provided him with an incomparable stage upon which to bring those qualities to bear in the work that he does. Sitting next to him at a White House dinner last summer, I was impressed with his sincere manner, good humor and the ease with which he spoke of the role faith has played in his life. I am sure than in recent days his faith has been both tested and strengthened. His acceptance of my invitation to CUA, as he continues to battle cancer, demonstrates that faith and strength. We are proud to welcome him to campus" says Father O'Connell.

The main commencement ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. on the east steps of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The Shrine is located adjacent to CUA's campus at 400 Michigan Ave. NE.

Catholic University's Columbus School of Law will hold its annual commencement on Friday, May 25, 2007, at 2 p.m.

This year's law school commencement speaker will be R. James Nicholson, secretary of veterans affairs.

Veterans Affairs Secretary R. James Nicholson

As director of the nation's largest Cabinet department, Secretary Nicholson is the principal advocate for U.S. veterans. His earlier positions include U.S. ambassador to the Holy See (2001-2004) and chair of the Republican National Committee for almost four years. He was sworn in as secretary of veterans affairs on Feb. 1, 2005.

"Jim Nicholson has been an honorable public servant who has never hesitated to demonstrate the importance of his Catholic faith to who he is and what he does," says Father O'Connell. "I first met him in his role as U.S. ambassador to the Vatican and our paths have crossed many times since then. CUA Law is privileged to welcome such a distinguished man to this year's commencement ceremonies."

"I am delighted that Secretary Nicholson will address the law school's class of 2007. He is a public servant of exceptional achievement," says Veryl V. Miles, dean of the Columbus School of Law. "We have always encouraged our students to reflect upon the lawyer's role in society, and to put their legal skills and training in service of the common good. Secretary Nicholson is an outstanding example of the lawyer-citizen that we hope all of our graduates aspire to be. The law school community looks forward to hearing his message."


For more information or to make arrangements to cover the university's main commencement exercises, contact Chris Harrison or Katie Lee in the CUA Office of Public Affairs by calling 202-319-5600; to cover the law school commencement, contact Tom Haederle in the law school's Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5438.