Esteemed White House journalist Helen Thomas will deliver the 45th Commencement address to Cabrini College graduates on Sunday, May 15, at 10 a.m. An honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree will also be conferred upon Thomas during the Commencement Ceremony.
Commonly referred to as "The First Lady of the Press," Thomas is considered a legend in the world of journalism, covering every U.S. president from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush.
In her 57 years with United Press International, Thomas broke down the gender barrier that existed in journalism. She was the first woman to be named White House bureau chief of a major wire service, and the first to become president of the White House Correspondents Association.
In addition, she was the first female officer of the National Press Club, and the first female member of the Gridiron Club.
A graduate of Wayne State University in Michigan, Thomas began her career as a copy girl with the now defunct Washington Daily News. She joined United Press International in 1943 and served on a number of beats before she began covering President-elect John F. Kennedy in November 1960.
She went on to the White House in January 1961 as a member of United Press International team. During her first White House assignment Thomas began the traditional closing of presidential press conferences with "Thank you Mr. President."
Once named one of the twenty-five most influential females, Thomas has traveled around the world several times with Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush.
In 1972, she was the only print journalist to travel with President Nixon on his historic trip to China.
Thomas left United Press International in 2000, and is now a syndicated columnist with Hearst Newspapers.
She has written three books, including Front Row at the White House: My Life and Times and her latest, Thanks for the Memories Mr. President: Wit and Wisdom From the Front Row at the White House.