The Catholic University of America

May 3, 2007

Catholic University to Confer More Than 1,100 Degrees at Commencement

White House Spokesman Tony Snow to Speak at Main Ceremony

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow

WASHINGTON - The Catholic University of America will confer more than 900 bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees during its 118th Annual Commencement Ceremony to be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 12, on the east steps of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, located at 400 Michigan Ave., N.E.

More than 250 degrees will be distributed at the commencement ceremony for CUA's Columbus School of Law on Friday, May 25.

For other commencement details, visit: A plan for inclement weather can be found here. The main ceremony will be streamed live over the Internet starting at 9:45 a.m. The live stream can be viewed indoors on campus in the food court of the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center.

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, a veteran broadcaster, political commentator and newspaper columnist, will deliver the main commencement address on May 12. The topic of Snow's address will be "Reason, Faith, Vocation."

Selected to succeed Scott McClellan as spokesman for the George W. Bush administration in April 2006, Snow arrived at the White House 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.

"I have long admired Tony's objectivity and integrity as a journalist," says Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., university 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 that 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."

Snow's service as press secretary is his 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.

Between 1993 and 2000, his nationally syndicated column appeared in more than 200 papers, including The Detroit News and USA Today.

Snow, who has won numerous journalism awards, has appeared on radio and television programs worldwide, including "The McLaughlin Group," "The MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour," "Face the Nation," "Crossfire" and "Good Morning America."

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.

R. James Nicholson, secretary of veterans affairs who directs the nation's second largest Cabinet department, will be the speaker at the Columbus School of Law commencement ceremony, which will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, May 25, in the Great Upper Church of the National Shrine.

Nicholson, who comes from a family of veterans, served in the U.S. Army for 30 years, retiring with the rank of colonel. Prior to his appointment as veterans affairs secretary, Nicholson served as U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See for four years.

Outstanding students were lauded during the Honors Convocation on Friday, May 11, at the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center. Father O'Connell was the official celebrant and homilist during the Baccalaureate Mass in the National Shrine, Great Upper Church, on May 11. To read the homily, click here.


For more information or to make arrangements to cover the university's main commencement, Honors Convocation or Baccalaureate Mass, 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.