[CUA Office of Public Affairs]           

April 2, 2004


NBC’s Brian Williams to Speak at CUA Commencement


Very Rev. David M. O’Connell, C.M., president, today announced that NBC News Anchor Brian Williams will be returning to The Catholic University of America to address graduates at CUA’s 115th Annual Commencement Ceremony, to be held May 15, 2004.

Brian Williams


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 his 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,” Father O’Connell said. “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.


“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.”


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.

Two other individuals will be honored at the commencement ceremony. Robert F. Comstock, Esq., a university alumnus and trustee, will receive the Shahan Medal for Service in recognition of his extraordinary service in pursuit of fulfilling the university's mission. The President's Medal — given for extraordinary service to the Church, nation and university — will be bestowed upon Monsignor Paul Lenz, executive director of the Black and Indian Mission Office, Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions.






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The Catholic University of America,
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