Announcing the 2016 Commencement speakers

Steve and Cokie Roberts will speak and receive honorary degrees May 15 at Gettysburg College's 181st Commencement. The 11 a.m. ceremony will take place – rain or shine – on the Beachem Portico on the north side of Pennsylvania Hall.

Despite their individual distinctions, they enjoy working together as a team. In fact, it is their marriage that has brought them the greatest joy.

“The most important decision you will ever make in your life is who you marry,” Steve said. “Everything else is secondary. There will always be another job or graduate fellowship, but the right partner is priceless and irreplaceable.”

He uses his relationship with his wife as an example.

Together, they share a weekly column syndicated in newspapers around the country, and have written two books together: Our Haggadah: Uniting Traditions for Interfaith Families, and From this Day Forward.

They have both found profound individual success as political commentators and journalists as well.


Steve Roberts

Steve Roberts has been a journalist for more than 45 years, covering some of the major events of his time, from the antiwar movement and student revolts of the 60s and 70s to President Reagan’s historic trip to Moscow in 1988 and eleven presidential election campaigns.

Today, he appears regularly as a political analyst on the ABC radio network and is a substitute host on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show. He is also the Shapiro Professor of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, where he lectures widely on American politics and the role of the news media.

When he reflects on his career covering some of the biggest moments in American and world history, though, it is not the national crisis or moments of triumph that bring him the greatest pleasure, but the conversations he’s had with average Americans.

“The interviews I remember most were not with politicians or prominent public figures. They were with ordinary people describing their ordinary lives, the texture and flavor of personal experience,” Steve said. “Everyone is an expert on one thing: themselves. The best interviews tap and translate that insight.”


Cokie Roberts

Cokie is a political commentator for ABC News and a senior news analyst for NPR. Over the course of her more than forty years in broadcasting, Cokie has won countless awards, including the Edward Weintal Prize for Diplomatic Reporting for her coverage of the Iran-Contra Affair, and three Emmys.

In addition to her appearances on the airwaves, Cokie has published multiple books, the most successful of which was her number one bestseller, We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters. Roberts’s histories of women in America – Founding Mothers, and Ladies of Liberty, as well as her recently published Capital Dames, about women and Washington in the Civil War—were all rated as New York Times bestsellers.

Steve and Cokie are just as proud of their personal accomplishments as they are of their professional ones. Together, they have two children and six grandchildren – three of whom live near to them in Washington, D.C. One of Steve’s greatest joys is coaching first-base for his grandson’s Little League baseball team, along with family vacations to Pawleys Island in South Carolina.

“After almost 50 years of marriage, we make a good team,” Steve reflected. “I hope our model is as useful as our words. Personal relationships – with a partner or protégé, a child or parent, a friend or mentor – bring life’s greatest joys.”

Check the Commencement website for more information about this year’s ceremony. It will be updated frequently as Commencement weekend approaches.

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Contact: Kasey Varner, assistant director of communications, 717.337.6806

Posted: Mon, 18 Jan 2016

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