This is Vassar: The newsletter for Vassar College Alumnae/i and Families

A Look Ahead: Commencement Speaker Chip Reid ’77

On Sunday, May 22, Chip Reid ’77 will be the speaker at the college’s 147th commencement ceremony, held at the outdoor amphitheater overlooking Sunset Lake. From his days in Vassar’s psychology department as a young undergraduate, to time spent covering Capitol Hill, he’s seen a lot in his career as a network television journalist.

Graduating from Vassar Phi Beta Kappa, Reid went on to Princeton and Columbia universities. He initially practiced law in Washington, D.C., working both as a Counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and as a litigation and lobbying specialist.

In the late 1980s, he began working for ABC News as a field producer and soon began his career as a television reporter. He moved to NBC in 1996. There, he covered stories including President Clinton’s impeachment process, Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign, the 9/11 attacks at Ground Zero and the Pentagon, and the War on Terror. Such work took him to locations around the globe, including Afghanistan, Israel and Egypt; he also spent seven weeks embedded with a lead unit of the Marines during the initial attacks on Baghdad.

In 2007, he switched networks again, becoming CBS News’ Capitol Hill Correspondent, where he extensively covered the 2008 presidential elections, including a stint traveling with John McCain’s campaign. He then became the network’s Chief White House Correspondent in January 2009.

Reid caught the attention of many after a touchy confrontation with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs during a White House “online town hall” in the spring of 2009; alongside unlikely partner Helen Thomas, he criticized Gibbs for the White House’s use of preselected questions, and video clips of the confrontation circulated online.

When Reid speaks at the college’s 147th commencement, he will not only become the first alumnus to deliver the speech, but he will join an impressive list of past Vassar commencement speakers that includes Lisa Kudrow ‘85, NPR’s Terry Gross, the New York Times’ Randy Cohen, and Susan Sontag. Reid, however, has the particular honor of delivering his commencement address during the year of Vassar’s Sesquicentennial celebrations. No pressure. –Cynthea Ballard ’13

Watch a recent video of Reid reporting on budget struggles in Washington.

Photo Courtesy CBS News

May 2011

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