Commencement SpeakerGAMBIER, Ohio (February 5, 2007) David Gregory, the chief White House correspondent for NBC News, will deliver the address to the Class of 2007 at Kenyon's one hundred seventy-ninth Commencement on Saturday, May 19, 2007. The ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m.
Traveling with George W. Bush throughout the 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns, Gregory became a familiar face to television viewers as a result of his reports from across the country. He was the leader of NBC's 2000 election night coverage from Austin, Texas, and during the subsequent legal standoff, and he was the only network correspondent aboard Air Force One with President Bush on Election Day 2004. Gregory has accompanied the president on all of his major foreign trips, and he was the only network correspondent to tour Ground Zero with the chief executive.
While his relationship with President Bush is amiable enough to have garnered him the presidential nickname "Little Stretch" -- an allusion to his six-foot, five-inch frame, which makes him the third tallest member of the current crop of Oval Office reporters (behind "Stretch" Dick Keil and "Super Stretch" Bill Sammon) -- Gregory has often been one of the most challenging questioners among the White House press corps. He was also famously taken to task by President Bush for speaking fluent French in a briefing with French president Jacques Chirac, an experience he memorably recounted on the "Tonight Show" with Jay Leno.
Gregory, who joined NBC News in 1995, covered stories ranging from the criminal and civil trials of O.J. Simpson, to the Oklahoma bombing trials, to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton before his assignment to the White House beat several years later. Since that time, he has covered not only the presidency but also the war on terror and the war in Iraq. Gregory was one of the few journalists to travel with Vice President Dick Cheney on a 2002 mission to twelve Middle Eastern countries as the administration laid the groundwork for the invasion of Iraq.
Since 2005, Gregory has taken on the role of regular substitute for co-host Matt Lauer on "Today." In addition, he serves as a substitute anchor for the weekend editions of "Today" and "Nightly News" and a substitute moderator of "Meet the Press." Gregory also contributes political commentary to "Meet the Press," the syndicated "Hardball with Chris Matthews," and MSNBC's "Imus in the Morning," of which he has also been a guest host.
Washingtonian magazine has named Gregory one of the capital's fifty best and most influential journalists, calling him "the firebrand in the front row," a reflection of his reputation as one of the toughest questioners of President Bush and his press secretaries. In 2005, Gregory and colleagues at NBC shared an Emmy for their coverage of President Ronald Reagan's death and funeral in June 2004.
Gregory earned a bachelor's degree in international studies from American University, where he now serves as a member of the advisory council to the dean of the School of International Service. Gregory was named the school's alumnus of the year in 2005.
A native of Los Angeles, California, and a current resident of Washington, D.C., Gregory is married to Beth Wilkinson, executive vice president and general counsel of Fannie Mae, the guarantor and purchaser of home mortgages that is now one of the largest financial services companies in the nation. Gregory and Wilkinson are the parents of three children.