Journalist, Lehigh alum Stephanie Ruhle announced as 2017 commencement speaker


Stephanie Ruhle (Courtesy of NBC Universal)

Stephanie Ruhle, ’97, has been announced as the speaker for Lehigh’s 149th commencement ceremony in May.

Ruhle earned a Bachelor of Arts in international business from Lehigh in 1997. Now, she is an anchor at MSNBC where she has a daily show.

“In 1997, I was sitting at commencement surrounded by those who would become my lifelong friends and extremely proud of the foundation Lehigh helped me build,” Ruhle said in a statement to University Communications. “But I never expected the honor of returning 20 years later to send off an esteemed group of next-generation leaders.”

The 40-year-old journalist recently announced she’s leaving the “Today” show, where she was a weekend co-anchor, to devote her full attention to MSNBC.

During her time at Lehigh, Ruhle wrote several articles for The Brown and White in the fall of 1994. She studied abroad in three countries — Kenya, Guatemala and Italy. She was a student ambassador, a tour guide and was on the Dean’s List, according to the 1997 Epitome yearbook.

Stephanie Ruhle (Courtesy of 1997 Epitome yearbook)

Stephanie Ruhle (Courtesy of 1997 Epitome yearbook)

Ruhle returned to South Mountain in October 2013 to moderate a panel with other alumni, focusing on the national debt.

Previously, she was an anchor and managing editor for Bloomberg Television and editor-at-large for Bloomberg News. Before entering media, Ruhle worked at Deutsche Bank as a managing director in global markets senior relationship management.

“She represents the best in her field, and I’m sure that her informed insights and words of advice to our graduates will be both thought-provoking and inspiring,” said John Simon, Lehigh’s 14th president, in a statement to University Communications

Freddy Coleman, ‘17, the president of the class of 2017, said he is excited to conclude his time at Lehigh by hearing Ruhle speak.

“The class of 2017 looks forward to hearing what she has to say on life and how she was able to use her Lehigh degree to get where she has gotten,” Coleman said.

Recent previous commencement speakers include Marty Baron, Walter Isaacson and Joseph Perella. Ruhle is the first female honoree since Ellen Kullman spoke in 2011.

Lehigh’s 149th commencement will take place May 22 at Goodman Stadium starting at 10 a.m.

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