The Catholic University of America

Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa
Robert Anthony "Tony" Snow, B.A.
Public Servant and Journalist

Father O'Connell and Tony Snow

In 1981, as an editorial writer with North Carolina's Greensboro Record, Robert Anthony Snow wrote: "Irresponsible cynicism makes virtues of sloth and envy, and gives self-sacrifice a bad name." Just lofty words for a young man four years out of college with a degree in philosophy? Those who know him would say no. For Tony Snow - White House press secretary and veteran broadcaster, pundit and newspaper columnist - the words still ring true.

His integrity as a person and as a journalist is reflected in the words of his friends and colleagues. When Mr. Snow was appointed President George W. Bush's press secretary in 2006, friends in his hometown of Cincinnati remembered him as a teenager with "a quick mind and a compassionate streak," according to The Cincinnati Enquirer. A recent editorial in Raleigh's News & Observer described him as "a sturdy foil for the sometimes disagreeable White House press corps" and "a clever and popular spokesman." A News & Observer reporter described him as "a genuinely nice guy, family man, with a good sense of humor, someone who has come by his political beliefs after a lot of honest contemplation."

That honest contemplation can be traced back to Mr. Snow's college days when he was president of his senior class and a member of both the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society and the debate team. After a teaching stint in Kenya and in Cincinnati, he continued to voice his thoughtful opinions, first at the Greensboro paper and later at several others, including The Washington Times. Between 1993 and 2000, his nationally syndicated column appeared in more than 200 papers that included The Detroit News and USA Today. In 1996, he became a weekend news anchor and political analyst for the Fox News Channel. By 2003, he also had his own show on Fox News Radio.

Mr. Snow has answered the call to public service more than once in his career. In 1991, he took a break from journalism to work for President George H. Bush, first as his chief speechwriter and then as deputy assistant to the president for media affairs.

For his integrity and dedication as a journalist, public servant, commentator and contributor to the nation's political discourse, The Catholic University of America is proud to bestow upon Robert Anthony Snow the degree Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.