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Radio Times Host Marty Moss-Coane and CNN Host Michael Smerconish to Deliver Commencement Addresses

Marty Moss-Coane, host and executive producer of WHYY’s “Radio Times,” and Michael Smerconish, host of his own radio show on SiriusXM and of CNN’s “Smerconish,” will deliver the commencement addresses at Widener University on May 20 and 21.

Students who are receiving master's or doctoral degrees will graduate at 9 a.m. on Friday, May 20, and undergraduates who are receiving bachelor's or associate's degrees will graduate at 9:45 a.m. on Saturday, May 21. Both ceremonies will take place in the Bown Garden behind Old Main on Widener’s Main Campus in Chester. Students, parents, alumni, faculty and staff can participate in social media dialog leading up to commencement using the hashtag #widener2016. 

Moss-Coane will present the address for the graduate commencement and receive an honorary doctor of public service degree. Smerconish will present the address for the undergraduate commencement and receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. Chair of the Widener University Board of Trustees Nicholas Trainerwill receive an honorary degree of public service at the Friday graduate commencement.  

“Marty Moss-Coane and Michael Smerconish are accomplished leaders in the news industry and we look forward to having them share their experiences and wisdom with our graduating students,” said Widener President Julie E. Wollman. “This will be a wonderful opportunity for students to hear from professionals whose commitment and hard work has resulted in national recognition and success in their careers.”

As host and executive producer of “Radio Times,” one of the most respected interview programs on regional radio, Moss-Coane is known as being a thought provoking and balanced radio host. She has earned praise for her versatility and engaging conversations with guests during the live, two-hour program, which covers social issues, public policy, books, films and more. Her program focuses on educating audiences to help them make informed decisions. Moss-Coane is not afraid of controversial issues, as a broadcaster of integrity she does not take sides and presents various points of view on all issues.

Moss-Coane became a familiar national name when she served as principal guest host for Terry Gross on “Fresh Air,” WHYY's daily national magazine of culture show. She also serves as WHYY’s principal moderator. Over the last two years Moss-Coane has moderated local election coverage, including candidate forums, debates, and profiles for TV, radio and the Internet.

Her work at WHYY reflects great dedication, as she started as a volunteer at the station and continued for more than 25 years as an associate producer, producer, executive producer and local and national host, in which she has received many accolades of excellence in radio, public service, public health and public affairs.

Moss-Coane is also a valued member of the community. She has served as moderator for the Free Library of Philadelphia’s lecture series for famous authors for several years.

Host of The Michael Smerconish Program on SiriusXM and “Smerconish,” a weekly program on CNN, Michael michaelSmerconish has been named one of America’s most important talk show hosts by Talkers magazine. In 2009, he was named the nation’s Local Personality of the Year by Radio and Records.

Also a newspaper columnist and author, Smerconish has been a MSNBC contributor and a frequent guest-host on Hardball with Chris Matthews, as well as a number of other political programs including: the Colbert Report, O’Reilly Factor, Larry King Live, and Real Time with Bill Maher. Smerconish is the author of six books, two of them New York Times’ best sellers, and writes a Sunday column in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Before becoming a radio and television commentator, Smerconish practiced law for 10 years. He still serves as counsel to Kline & Specter, a law firm in Philadelphia. However, he always had an interest in politics. At age 29, he was appointed by President George H. W. Bush to a sub-cabinet level position, regional administrator for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

On August 20, 2009, Smerconish became the first radio host to interview President Barack Obama live from the White House. The interview was televised live on MSNBC, CNN and Fox News. Smerconish has also interviewed Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, as well as Vice Presidents Al Gore, Dick Cheney and Joe Biden.

A 1964 graduate of Pennsylvania Military College (now Widener University) with a degree in chemistry, Trainer launched his career working in sales for Hercules, Inc., a chemical manufacturing company based in Wilmington, Del. He joined Sartomer Company, Inc. in 1969 as a technical sales representative and worked his way up to president of the company by 1976. Under his leadership, Sartomer’s annual sales revenue grew from about $2 million in the late 1960s to more than $450 million when he retired in 2006. Trainer also oversaw the company’s expansion into Europe and the Far East.

In addition to being a Widener trustee, Trainer served on the School of Business Administration Advisory Council. For his service to the university, Trainer received the Outstanding Alumnus Award in 1985 and the Alumni Service Award in 1996. After his retirement, the Sartomer Company, Inc. established an annual scholarship in his name in to support a student in the School of Business Administration who displays an outstanding academic record and involvement in student activities.

With 27 years on the board, Trainer has played an important role in the growth of the university. He also directed the university’s first major capital campaign, Widener2000, which was responsible for the Leslie C. Quick Center. 

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development, and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate’s, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester, Exton, and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del. are proud to be a tobacco-free. Visit the university website,