Saint Joseph’s Announces 2009 Commencement

Chris Matthews and Cornel West Set to Receive Honorary Degrees

Monday, March 30, 2009

PHILADELPHIA (March 10, 2009) — Saint Joseph’s University will grant honorary degrees to broadcast journalist and MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews and to civil rights champion and scholar Cornel West, Ph.D., at the 2009 Commencement ceremonies, set for Saturday, May 16. The graduate ceremony will begin at 9 a.m., the undergraduate ceremony at 3 p.m.

Television news anchor Chris Matthews will serve as the speaker at the undergraduate commencement ceremony and receive an honorary doctorate in communication. Jesuit-educated, Matthews is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and the recipient of 21 other honorary degrees. As an eyewitness to a number of pivotal events in our recent history, including the fall of the Berlin Wall and the funeral of Pope John Paul II, Matthews will bring experience and insight to his address to the Class of 2009. Prior to his work in television news, Matthews was a newspaper journalist for the San Francisco Examiner and the San Francisco Chronicle; a speechwriter under President Jimmy Carter; and a trade development advisor with the U.S. Peace Corps in Swaziland, Africa. The best-selling author of four books, he is also a husband and a father of three.

The graduate ceremony will feature Cornel West, who will be awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters. A compelling and prolific speaker and a devoted civil rights advocate, West is a professor of religion and Afro-American Studies at Princeton University. He is the author of 19 books, including his debut 1993 bestseller Race Matters, which has sold more than half a million copies. West is a graduate of Harvard College and Princeton University. In addition to teaching at Princeton, West also directs the university’s Afro-American Studies program.

“I look forward to meeting these exemplary honorary degree recipients and welcoming them to our tremendous University community,” said University President Timothy R. Lannon, S.J.

Media Contact

Kelly Welsh, Senior Associate Director of University Communications, kwelsh@sju.edu




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