Commencement Speakers and Honorary Degree Recipients
MS. COKIE ROBERTS
Political Commentator, ABC News
MS. COKIE ROBERTS is a political commentator for ABC News, providing analysis for all network news programming. From 1996 to 2002, she and Sam Donaldson co-anchored the weekly ABC interview program, This Week.
Ms. Roberts also serves as senior news analyst for National Public Radio, where she has been a familiar voice since 1977. In her more than 40 years in broadcasting, she has won countless awards, including three Emmys. She has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, and was cited by the American Women in Radio and Television as one of the 50 greatest women in the history of broadcasting.
In addition to her appearances on the airwaves, Ms. Roberts is an accomplished author, with six books appearing on the New York Timesbest-seller list. Her first book, We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters, an account of women’s roles and relationships, reached number one. Since then she has specialized in re-telling American history through the eyes and observations of women. Founding Mothers, published in 2004, and Ladies of Liberty, published in 2008, focus on the early years of American independence. She recently published Capital Dames, The Civil War and the Women of Washington, 1848–1868, which immediately became a best-seller. The Washington Post wrote that “Roberts is a gifted narrator of Civil War history, weaving the experiences and perspectives of the women into a fresh and illuminating account of key battles and events.”
Ms. Roberts holds more than 25 honorary degrees, serves on the boards of several nonprofit institutions, including Save the Children, and was on President Bush’s Commission on Service and Civic Participation. In 2008, the Library of Congress named her a Living Legend, one of the very few Americans to have attained that honor. She and her husband are the parents of two and grandparents of six.
MR. STEVEN V. ROBERTS
Professor, Columnist, Best-Selling Author
MR. STEVEN V. ROBERTS has been a journalist for more than 50 years, covering some of the major events of his time, from the antiwar movement and student revolts of the 1960s and 1970s to President Reagan’s historic trip to Moscow in 1988—and 12 presidential election campaigns.
He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 1964 and joined the New York Times as research assistant to James “Scotty” Reston, then the paper’s Washington bureau chief. His 25-year career with the Times included assignmentsas bureau chief in Los Angeles and Athens and as Congressional and White House correspondent. He was a senior writer at U.S. News for seven years, specializing in national politics and foreign policy.
Mr. Roberts and his wife, Cokie, often collaborate on writing projects. Together they write a nationally syndicated newspaper column and in February of 2000, they published From This Day Forward, an account of their interfaith marriage, as well as other marriages in American history. The New York Times called the book “inspiring and instructive” and it spent seven weeks on the best-seller list.
He also writes a bimonthly column, Hometown, for Bethesda Magazine and reviews sports books for the Washington Post. His childhood memoir, My Fathers’ Houses, published in 2005, was featured at the National Book Festival in Washington. His latest book, From Every End of This Earth, chronicles the stories of 13 immigrant families. The Washington Post called it “compassionate and engaging.”
As a broadcaster, Mr. Roberts appears regularly as a political analyst on the ABC radio network and as a substitute host on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show. As a teacher, he lectures widely on American politics and the role of the news media. Since 1997, he has been the Shapiro Professor of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University.
His many honors include the Bender prize as one of GW’s top undergraduate teachers and four honorary doctorates. His favorite assignment is coaching first base for his grandson's Little League baseball team.