In Memoriam: Cokie Roberts

The Gonzaga community was saddened to hear about the passing this week of award-winning journalist Cokie Roberts. These photos were taken at Gonzaga’s Commencement ceremony in 2003, when Roberts gave the Kohlmann Address.

Ashley Hawken ‘53 remembers that he spoke with Roberts several times before the graduation. He and the rest of his classmates from the Class of 1953 were going to be honored at the graduation ceremony in recognition of their 50th Gonzaga reunion. Roberts’ father, Rep. Hale Boggs, Sr., had spoken at Gonzaga’s graduation in 1953. “Mrs. Roberts and I spoke several times about the talk that her father had given at our 1953 commencement 50 years previously,” he says. “She was also hungry for insights about the school, its history, and its culture.”

Hawken says that he remembers her speech stressing the value of public service, and the responsibility that those who benefit from a quality education have to use it in the service of others. “My only regret is that, at the reception after her speech, she was so surrounded by admirers that my late wife and I had no chance to congratulate her for a job well done,” Hawken says.

As we reflect back on her memorable visit to Eye Street, we join all of those who are mourning her loss. May God grant her eternal rest.
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