[CUA Office of Public Affairs]           

 April 27, 2004


NBC News Anchor to Speak at CUA Commencement

U.S. Secretary of Labor to Address Law School Graduates


The Catholic University of America will confer more than 1,000 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees during its 115th Annual Commencement Ceremony to be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 15, on the east steps of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, located at 400 Michigan Ave., N.E.


In addition, more than 270 degrees will be distributed at the commencement ceremony for CUA’s Columbus School of Law on May 29.


NBC News Anchor Brian Williams will deliver the commencement address. Williams, who will take over as anchor of “NBC Nightly News” on Dec. 2, 2004, attended Catholic University from 1979 to 1980 before embarking on a career as one of the country’s premier television journalists.


“I am certain that our graduating students will be delighted to have as their commencement speaker someone who went on from Catholic University to such an illustrious and exciting career,” said Very Rev. David M. O’Connell, C.M., university president. “Brian Williams has been on the front lines of many major news events, and he has a perspective to share that is truly special.”


Williams was the NBC News chief White House correspondent from 1994 to 1996, and was the anchor and managing editor of the Saturday edition of “NBC Nightly News” for six years.


In more than 20 years of broadcasting, he has reported from 23 overseas nations on countless stories of national and international importance, including intensive live coverage of the September 11th attacks and their aftermath. After his election night coverage of the 2000 Presidential race, he was named Best Anchor by USA Today.


When he succeeds Tom Brokaw as anchorman of “NBC Nightly News” later this year, Williams will become the first new major network anchorman in more than 20 years.


He will receive an honorary degree at the commencement ceremony.


 “I am thrilled to be coming home to CUA,” Williams said of his invitation to deliver the commencement address. “The graduates of the Class of 2004 are entering the world and the workforce at such a critical time.  I'm anxious to share with them the view from here, from one who knows where they're coming from.”


U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao will be the speaker at the commencement ceremony for the Columbus School of Law, which will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 29, in the Great Upper Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.


Chao will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree during the ceremony.


Outstanding students will be lauded during the Honors Convocation at 2 p.m. on May 14 at Hartke Theatre. Father O’Connell will be the official celebrant and homilist during the Baccalaureate Mass at the National Shrine at 4 p.m. on May 14.  




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Revised: 2/23/2004

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The Catholic University of America,
Office of Public Affairs.