Russert urges Loyola grads to share Otherwise, 'we will perish,' NBC political analyst warns at 148th commencement

May 18, 1997|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

In a brief speech punctuated by humor, political analyst Tim Russert offered graduating students at Loyola College these words of wisdom: To be successful, one must be committed to serving others.

Russert told the seniors, "You now have a special obligation and responsibility. You must share. Openly. Freely. Absolutely. With all your heart and all your will. Without that sharing, we will perish -- as individuals, as a nation, as a world.

"We all must see if there isn't some child we can help. Some are sick, some are lonely, some are uneducated. Most have little control over their fate. Give them a hand. Give them a chance. Give them their dignity. No matter your political philosophy, that is your charge."

The Washington bureau chief for NBC News reminded the Class of 1997 that, like them, he chose to attend a small Jesuit school -- John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio. And so he, like them, has an obligation and responsibility -- to strive for a better America for the next generation.

"Reject the conventional wisdom that success is only for the rich or privileged or Ivy League educated," said Russert, moderator of NBC's "Meet the Press."

"Don't believe it. I didn't. Because people with real values have a way of helping and teaching and reaching one another. People with backgrounds like yours and mine can make a difference."

At the morning ceremony in the Baltimore Arena, 621 bachelor's degrees were conferred. The school's 148th commencement included several awards and a recognition to the St. Ambrose Outreach Center in Northwest Baltimore.

Honorary degrees also were bestowed on 10-term Maryland Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein and Samuel H. Lacy, a longtime sports editor at the Afro-American newspapers and a leader in the effort during the 1930s and 1940s to integrate Major-League Baseball.

In other commencements held around the state yesterday:

Hood College in Frederick conferred 258 bachelor's degrees and 195 master's degrees. The speaker was Dr. Winnie King, a 1979 Hood graduate and award-winning broadcast journalist known in Baltimore for her work as a former medical reporter for WMAR-TV. The college president, Shirley D. Peterson, presented King with an honorary doctor of science degree.

Salisbury State University, with its largest graduating class, presented bachelor's degrees to 920 graduates and 83 master's degrees in ceremonies at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center. Washington lobbyist Thomas Hale Boggs Jr. delivered the address.

St. Mary's College of Maryland in St. Mary's City conferred 349 bachelor's degrees in ceremonies on the campus Townhouse Green. Religious scholar Huston Smith was the speaker.

Capitol College graduates heard a speech by Vinton G. Cerf, vice president of MCI Communications, which in 1993 donated a telecommunications lab to the Laurel technology school.

Pub Date: 5/18/97

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