The New York Times’ Frank Bruni to Speak at Hopkins Commencement in May

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Photo via Johns Hopkins University

Journalist Frank Bruni has seemingly done it all, from writing about religion and war in Detroit to covering George W. Bush’s White House in Washington to co-authoring his own cookbook. Soon, he’ll add an honorary doctorate from Hopkins to his resume.

The university announced today that Bruni, a six-year columnist for The New York Times and a reporter there since 1995, will speak at graduation on May 24. In exchange for his expectedly inspirational words, Hopkins will award him with an honorary degree of humane letters.

“With his trademark blend of intelligence, analysis, and wit, he helps us to see the humanity in one another even as he urges us to embrace open debate,” said Hopkins President Ronald J. Daniels in a statement. “At this moment, there is no better message to the Class of 2017 and our entire Hopkins community.”

Presently, Bruni writes two columns a week for the Times. Most of his recent pieces have centered around President Donald Trump. His Friday op-ed excoriated Trump and Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan for validating Americans’ “dark assessment” of their government after the planned Obamacare replacement rapidly fell apart in Congress. Another column from earlier this month offered a humorous take on neurosurgeon turned HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s gaffe of comparing American slaves to immigrants in his first day on the job.

But long before he had liberal newsreaders spitting out coffee, Bruni was a reporter, first at the New York Post and then the Detroit Free Press. In Detroit, he covered religion, war and movies, and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for a profile he wrote about a convicted child molester. He joined The New York Times as a metro reporter in 1995, and three years later moved to the paper’s Washington D.C. Bureau to cover Capitol Hill. He then became the Times’ White House correspondent for the first eight months of President George W. Bush’s term.

In 2002, he was appointed as chief of the newspaper’s Rome bureau. From there, he made a switch to becoming a restaurant critic back in New York, and stayed in that role until he became an op-ed writer.

Bruni has also written three diverse best-selling books: “Ambling Into History: The Unlikely Odyssey of George W. Bush”; his 2009 memoir “Born Round: A Story of Family, Food and Ferocious Appetite”; and “Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania.” If that’s not enough to impress, he also co-authored a cookbook called “A Meatloaf in Every Oven” published in February of this year.

“I’m so honored—and so excited—to be a part of the commencement exercises at a school that has contributed so much to intellectual life, scientific progress, and social discourse in this country, and to be able to speak to, and meet with, its students at such an important juncture in American life,” Bruni said in a statement via the Hopkins Hub.

Commencement takes place on May 24 at Royal Farms Arena.

Ethan McLeod
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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in Baltimore City Paper, Leafly, DCist and BmoreArt, among other outlets. He enjoys basketball, humid Mid-Atlantic summers and story tips.
Ethan McLeod
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