Dana Perino, former White House press secretary, best-selling author, co-anchor of “America’s Newsroom” on Fox News Channel and co-host of “The Five” (also on Fox), will address graduates during Grove City College’s 2021 and 2020 Commencement ceremonies, which will be held in-person and on campus.
“Grove City College is delighted to announce a commencement speaker of Ms. Perino’s talent, commitment and integrity,” College President Paul J. McNulty ’80 said.
Perino became the first Republican woman to be named White House press secretary in 2007 when President George W. Bush selected her for the position, which she held until the end of the Bush administration. She currently co-anchors Fox News Channel’s “America’s Newsroom with Bill Hemmer & Dana Perino” and is a co-host of “The Five,” where she is known as “the voice of reason.”
As a No. 1 New York Times best-selling author, Perino also provides commentary and appears weekly on other Fox programs. She is especially committed to the work of mentoring young women.
“Dana has enjoyed remarkable and well-deserved success at Fox News. She is a role model for engaging constructively in public discourse at a time when winsome and principled voices are desperately needed. Since serving together in the Bush administration, I have admired her integrity, professionalism and work ethic,” McNulty said.
Commencement for the graduating class of 2021 will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 15 on Grove City College’s Quad, rain or shine. A special Commencement ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. to confer formally degrees on members of the Class of 2020, fulfilling the College’s promise to honor those graduates whose ceremony was cancelled last year because of the pandemic. Both ceremonies will be livestreamed at gcc.edu/livestream.
Prior to her White House post, Perino worked as a daily news journalist, a Capitol Hill press secretary, and in the private sector for global public relations companies.
Perino spent more than seven years as part of the Bush administration. She joined the U.S. Department of Justice, where she and McNulty were colleagues, right after the Sept. 11 attacks and served as a spokesperson before moving to the White House. She handled interactions with the national press corps and advised the president on all communications matters. Perino said she approached the job with a 50-50 mindset – half the effort went to defending and advocating the position of the president and the United States while the other half defended and advocated for media access to the president and the government.
After working for President Bush, Perino became commentator on current events, government affairs and foreign policy. She published “And the Good News Is … Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side,” which debuted as a No. 1 New York Times best-seller. Her 2016 book “Let Me Tell You about Jasper …How My Best Friend Became America's Dog” and her latest, “Everything Will Be Okay: Life Lessons for Young Women (from a Former Young Woman),” were national best-sellers. She has also provided editorial direction for books by conservative icons Charles Krauthammer and Peggy Noonan.
In 2010, President Barack Obama appointed Perino to serve on the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which complemented her passion for advocating for individual and economic freedom, especially for women in Africa. Perino and her husband, Peter McMahon, have volunteered in South Africa and Congo. In 2014 they spent a week at a charitable hospital and came back to America to broadcast their findings and appeal for additional help. Perino started Minute Mentoring, a program for young women that is like speed dating between mentors and mentees. She also serves on the board of Companions for Heroes, which matches rescue animals with first responders and veterans managing post-traumatic stress.
Perino was born in Wyoming and raised in Colorado. She holds a master’s degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois – Springfield.