CNN's Jake Tapper chosen as UMass commencement speaker - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

CNN's Jake Tapper chosen as UMass commencement speaker

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(Photo Courtesy: CNN) (Photo Courtesy: CNN)

A familiar face in news will soon be addressing the graduating class at UMass Amherst.

The university announced Thursday that CNN anchor and chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper will deliver this year's commencement address.

“We live in an era when press freedom is increasingly under attack.  Jake Tapper’s steadfast commitment to fact-based debate and responsible journalism in our tumult-filled times has rightly earned him widespread praise and respect. I know our graduating class will be keenly interested in his insights about the changing nature of the media and the American political and cultural landscape," said UMass Chancellor Kumble Subasswamy in a statement.

Tapper has been with CNN since 2014 and hosts "The Lead with Jake Tapper" weekdays, covering the latest national and international breaking news and headlines, as well topics including sports, money, pop culture, and politics.

Tapper also recently moderated a town hall meeting following the school shooting in Parkland, FL.

He has also hosted CNN's Sunday morning program, "State of the Union," since 2015.

Prior to joining CNN, Tapper spent over nine years at ABC News where he covered a wide range of stories - from the aftermath and levee failures after Hurricane Katrina, to the war in Iraq, to the 2008 presidential election.  He also served as the network's senior White House correspondent following the 2008 election.

He has also published three books and is currently working on his debut novel, "The Hellfire Club," which is set to be published in April.

Tapper graduated from Dartmouth College - Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude - in 1991.  He currently lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, daughter, and son.

UMass's undergraduate commencement will be held Friday, May 11 at McGuirk Alumni Stadium.

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