Journalist chosen as commencement speaker for third consecutive year

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Journalist E.J. Dionne Jr. will deliver the 2012 commencement address, marking the third year in a row that Allegheny chose an American journalist to give the keynote speech to graduates.

Dionnewill also receive an honorary degree from Allegheny along with three other distinguished leaders: Arnold Palmer, legendary PGA golfer; Tom Ridge, former Pennsylvania governor and the first United States Secretary of Homeland Security; Carol Glazer, president of the National Organization on Disability.

“We are all very excited that such a distinguished group of Honorary Degree recipients will be joining us at Commencement,” said President James Mullen, in an email statement. “Carol Glazer, Arnold Palmer, Gov. Tom Ridge and E.J. Dionne are figures of international distinction and their part in Commencement reflects Allegheny’s place as a preeminent liberal arts college.”

Dionne is a columnist for the Washington Post and author of the 1991 book Why Americans Hate Politics.

He will follow two previous commencement speakers that were journalists, John M. Hillkirk of USA Today in 2010 and New York Times columnist Bob Herbert last year.

“E.J. Dionne is one of the leading public intellectuals of our time,” said Bruce Smith, professor of political science. “He is a trenchant social critic, a voice of reason, and a committed progressive who also seeks common ground in an effort to discover policy solutions to the problems that confront us.”