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Home > News & Events > Press Releases > 2008 > NOVA's Commencement features keynote by Ray Suarez

Press Releases

NOVA's Commencement features keynote by Ray Suarez

April 14, 2008

Ray Suarez will deliver the keynote address at Northern Virginia Community College’s 42nd Commencement on Tuesday, May 13, 2008, beginning at 7 p.m. at George Mason University’s Patriot Center. Suarez is a senior correspondent for “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.”

Suarez has more than 30 years of experience in the news business. In 1999, he moved to “The NewsHour” from National Public Radio where he had been host of the nationwide, call-in news program “Talk of the Nation.” Prior to that, he spent seven years covering local, national and international stories for the NBC-owned station WMAQ-TV in Chicago.

Suarez is also an accomplished writer. In 2006, Rayo/HarperCollins published his examination of the tightening relationship between religion and politics in America, “The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America.” Suarez also wrote “The Old Neighborhood: What We Lost in the Great Suburban Migration” and has contributed to several other books. His writing has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and many other publications.

Earlier in his career, Suarez was a Los Angeles correspondent for CNN, a producer for the ABC Radio Network in New York, a reporter for CBS Radio in Rome, and a reporter for various American and British news services in London. Over the years he has narrated, anchored or reported many documentaries for public radio and television. He is the host and narrator of the upcoming documentary “Jerusalem: Center of the World” and narrator for National Geographic TV’s new series “Animal Genius.” He also hosts the monthly foreign affairs program “America Abroad” heard on Public Radio International.

Suarez earned a bachelor’s degree in African history at New York University and a master’s degree in social sciences at the University of Chicago. He has been awarded honorary doctorates by many colleges and universities, and has been honored with a Distinguished Alumnus Award from NYU and a Professional Achievement Award from the University of Chicago.

Suarez is a life member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and a founding member of the Chicago Association of Hispanic Journalists. Suarez lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and three children.

Another Commencement highlight will be when NOVA President Robert G. Templin Jr. presents an honorary associate degree in humane letters toJames W. Dyke Jr. for his service to the College’s Educational Foundation as past president and current board member.

Dyke is a partner at McGuireWoods in McLean, where his practice covers corporate, legislative, education, governmental relations and municipal law. He previously served as Virginia’s Secretary of Education under former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder and as domestic policy advisor to former Vice President Walter Mondale. He is an active leader in the Northern Virginia business community having served as chairman of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, the Northern Virginia Business Roundtable and the Emerging Business Forum. He also sits on the board of directors for Washington Gas Holding.

Dyke has served on many commissions and committees including the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia, the Commission to Restructure Virginia’s Tax Structure, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce board of directors and the University of the District of Columbia board of trustees. In 2007, Washingtonian magazine named him one of the “150 Most Powerful People” in the Washington region.

NOVA’s Commencement ceremony is free and open to the public.

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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America’s largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 60,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College’s Web site,