‘Hardball’ host named commencement speaker

Lee Betancourt

Chris Matthews, the anchor of the show “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” will be the 2007 commencement speaker on May 20, according to a statement issued to The Villanovan by Ann Diebold, vice president for University communication.

Matthews is a Philadelphia native, journalist and author who hosts the nightly syndicated news show.

Prior to hosting his own show, Matthews was a speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter and served on the staffs of Sens. Frank Moss of Utah and Edmund Muskie of Maine.

For six years, he was the top aide to Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill Jr. Matthews has also written four best-selling books.

“I am very pleased that Chris Matthews will be our commencement speaker this year,” said University President Rev. Peter Donohue, O.S.A. “Mr. Matthews is a prominent national news figure, a local Philadelphian and a man who has dedicated a large part of his life to public service in both the Peace Corps and our nation’s government. It is an honor that he will address our graduates this year.”

As a journalist, Matthews has covered the fall of the Berlin Wall, the first all-races elections in South Africa and the Good Friday peace talks in Northern Ireland.

Matthews will receive an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree at commencement.

He was previously honored with the David Brinkley Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism in 2004, the Abraham Lincoln Award from the Union League Club in Philadelphia and the Gold Medal Award from the Pennsylvania Society in 2005.