Cokie Roberts, longtime reporter and analyst for ABC News and NPR, died Tuesday, Sept. 17 in Washington D.C.. She was 75.

A check of our archives found that in May 2003 Roberts and her husband, Steve, were the commencement speakers at College Misericordia on May 17. Both received honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees from the school during the ceremony.

In their address to the class of 2003, Cokie told the graduates “If you want to make waves instead of ripples – go into public service.”  Steve, who was a contributing editor at US New and World Report and instructor at George Washington University, advice was “be a pebble in the pond of life.”

two women

FILE – In this Sept. 14, 2016, file photo, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, left, of Calif., greets journalist Cokie Roberts, right, in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress in Washington. Roberts, a longtime political reporter and analyst at ABC News and NPR has died, ABC announced Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019. She was 75. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The visit by the two journalist was not without controversy. Their appearance at Misericordia and MSNBC’s Chris Matthews at the University of Scranton commencement was opposed by the Cardinal Newman Society. The society, that promotes Catholic education, said both school’s choices for commencement speakers is “out of line with traditional Catholic teaching in their pro-choice stance on abortion.”

Both institutions said that they would not cancel their speakers.  A Misericordia spokesman said in response that Cokie and Steve Roberts “are accomplished journalist and upstanding members of the community.”

Days following their appearance at Misericorida, Cokie and Steve wrote about the school and the mission of the Sisters of Mercy in their syndicated newspaper column.