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Russert asks SCU's class of 2005 to lend a helping hand to the less fortunate

SANTA CLARA, Calif. June 11, 2005. Tim Russert, managing editor and moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press and political analyst for the network’s Nightly News and Today programs, today delivered Santa Clara University’s commencement address to the graduating class of 2005.

Russert, himself a graduate of a Jesuit high school and college, asked the recent graduates to help the less fortunate. “Work and live in comfort. Enjoy yourself. That is the American way.  But remember the people struggling alongside you and below you–the people who haven’t had the same opportunity, the same blessings, the same education.”

In a speech peppered with humor and anecdotes about his experience on ‘Meet the Press,” Russert told the audience that he was the first in his family to go to college. “The future leaders of this country and this world will not be born to the blood of kings and queens but to the blood of immigrants and pioneers. It is now your turn,” he said. Russert also stressed the distinctiveness of Jesuit education: “It’s not enough to have a skill. Not enough to have read all the books. Values really do matter. Santa Clara University has a special mission: Training young men and women to help shape and influence the moral tone and fiber of our nation and our world.”

Russert was awarded an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree.

More than 15,000 family and friends of SCU cheered nearly 1,100 undergraduates as they walked across an outdoor stage at Buck Shaw Stadium today, celebrating the 154th commencement of California's oldest institution of higher learning. The master of ceremonies was Provost Denise Carmody. Mario J. Prieto, S.J. director of SCU’s Campus Ministry delivered the invocation.  

Also at the undergraduate commencement, Bishop Samuel Ruiz Garcia, Bishop Emeritus of San Cristobal de la Casas, received an honorary Doctor of Faith and Justice. Sister Dorothy Stang, of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, was posthumously awarded an honorary Doctor of Faith and Justice Degree. Stang was killed in February in the Brazilian Amazon because of her work with rural workers.

Russert is a graduate of Canisius High School, John Carroll University, and the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Russert took over the helm of Meet the Press in December 1991.  Since then, the program has become the most watched Sunday morning interview program in America and the most quoted news program in the world. 

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in California's Silicon Valley, offers its 8,213 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's and law degrees. Distinguished nationally by the fourth -highest graduation rate among all U.S. master's universities, California's oldest higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. More information is on line at



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