George Stephanopoulos, Chief Washington Correspondent for ABC News and former Clinton administration senior advisor to the president for policy and strategy, will give this year’s commencement address at the University’s 137th Annual Commencement Exercises, according to a University press release.
“We are privileged to have George Stephanopoulos give the 2007 Commencement Address at our Queens ceremony this year,” said the Rev. Donald J. Harrington C.M., president of St. John’s. “He is a well-respected broadcast journalist who is a calming voice amid troubling times in our world today.”
Stephanopoulos’ father, the Rev. Robert G. Stephanopoulos, Ph.D., Dean of the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity and professor of theology at St. John’s for over 20 years, and Dr. Norman C. Francis, President of Xavier University of Louisiana, and George will be presented during the ceremonies with honorary degrees from the University.
“It will be a special moment for Mr. Stephanopoulos as he shares the stage with his father Reverend Robert Stephanopoulos, a longtime faculty member here at St. John’s, and Dr. Norman C. Francis, who will all be receiving honorary degrees from the University,” Harrington said.
As Chief Washington Correspondent, George Stephanopoulos oversees ABC’s coverage of Congress and reports on political and policy stories for the network’s various news platforms, including “World News Tonight,” “Nightline,” “Good Morning America,” and ABC News’ digital properties, including ABC News Now and ABCNews.com.
Students might recognize Stephanopoulos from his 2006 Election Night reporting, when Stephanopoulos served as the chief analyst for ABC News’ widely acclaimed coverage.
Before joining ABC News, Stephanopoulos served in the Clinton administration as the senior advisor to the president for policy and strategy. He is also widely known for his No. 1 New York Times best-seller, “All Too Human,” which covers Clinton’s first term and the 1992 and 1996 Clinton/Gore campaigns.
The announcement of Stephanopoulos’ planned commencement speech marks the first time a non-University-community member has been scheduled to speak at the annual graduation ceremonies since 2005, when New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly visited the University. During last year’s ceremonies, Harrington provided the only speech.
The Queens Commencement Exercises will be held on Sunday, May 13 on the Great Lawn. The ceremonies will begin with the procession of graduates, faculty and honored guests at 12:30 p.m. followed immediately by the formal ceremony at 1:30 p.m.
Unlike in years past, commencement and the awarding of honorary degrees will combine with the procession of graduates to create one encompassing, central ceremony. In previous years, each of the five colleges in the University held individual processions for their respective graduates.