By: Alexa Binkowitz
Editor in Chief
On May 13, Tom Brokaw will deliver his commencement address to the graduating class of 2018 at Webster Bank Arena. He will also receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Sacred Heart University.
The class of 2018 consists of approximately 1,220 graduates who will earn bachelor’s degrees in the Arts (BA) or in the Sciences (BS).
Brokaw is a television journalist and author who is best known for his work with NBC News. He covered many important and historical events, such as Ronald Reagan’s first political campaign, the Watergate scandal, and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
“Tom Brokaw is one of the most important broadcast journalists in the history of broadcasting. His long career at NBC News has spanned several generations. He has literally written the first draft of history by being present as an anchor and reporter at every major event on the planet for over four decades,” said Media Arts Professor Joe Alicastro, who also worked with Brokaw at NBC News. “As an author, his collection of writings ‘The Greatest Generation’ stands out as a tribute to the American generation that sacrificed so much for our freedom.”
In 2014, President Barack Obama awarded the Medal of Freedom to Brokaw in honor of the journalism contributions he made to the United States throughout his career.
“Personally, I am very happy that Tom Brokaw, a man that I worked with for nearly 30 years, and a man who was our leader at NBC News, will be speaking to our students as they head off from our campus to the world. To me, he represents the best in honesty, dignity, and truth,” said Alicastro.
Brokaw’s commencement address will particularly hold weight for graduating journalism students.
“Having someone like Tom Brokaw speak to our class is extremely beneficial because it is someone who has worked extremely hard to get where he is,” said senior Nicole Croteau, who is a media arts major with a concentration in journalism. “Having Tom Brokaw as the commencement speaker shows that no matter what your field is that you are entering, the possibilities are endless and with hard work and determination your dreams can be achieved.”
In recent years, journalism as a profession has come to a turning point within the era of “fake news,” growing media distrust, and online conspiracy theories about news coverage. Therefore, for students studying journalism, Brokaw serves as an example of excellence.
“In this age of uncertainty and Fake News, Tom Brokaw is a voice of certainty. He is above all a reporter, gathering facts, not fiction or opinion, reminding us exactly what the profession of journalism is supposed to be and its important place in a democracy,” said Alicastro.
During this year’s undergraduate commencement ceremony, Linda McMahon, a former Sacred Heart trustee, will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.
McMahon is now a member of President Trump’s cabinet as the Small Business Administration leader. She is also the co-founder and former chief executive of WWE in Stamford, Conn.
On May 12, Richard Edelman, the president and CEO of the world’s largest public relations firm will be delivering the address during the Graduate commencement ceremony to 1,130 graduate students. He will also be receiving an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, along with Marna Parke Borgstrom, the CEO of the Yale New Haven Health System and Yale New Haven Hospital.
Both commencement ceremonies will take place at Webster Bank Arena on May 12 and May 13 at 10 a.m., and will also be broadcasted live online.