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Thomma '76 Hosts White House Correspondents' Dinner

Steve Thomma, Dominican University Class of 1976, and President Barack Obama

Steve Thomma '76 and Barack Obama

Steve Thomma '76 completed a star turn alongside President Barack Obama and comedian Joel McHale as host of the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner on Saturday, May 3, 2014. The role was part of his duties as president of the WHCA for 2013-2014, its 100th year of existence.

Thomma, who graduated from Dominican (then Rosary College) with a degree in political science and communication, credits his professors with both teaching him the art of journalism and helping him land his first job out of school, at the now-defunct City News Bureau.

He later joined Knight-Ridder as a political reporter in St. Paul, Minn., and, after covering the 1996 presidential race, was named White House correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers. In 2012 was also named senior government and politics editor.

In 2010, Thomma received the Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency from the Gerald R. Ford Foundation, and in 2000 received the Aldo Beckman Award from the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) for his coverage of the White House during the 2000 presidential campaign.

At the dinner, Thomma served as emcee, introducing a retrospective video of the WHCA's 100-year history, handing out awards and making smooth transitions to comedic remarks from both Obama and McHale. In addition, he introduced the WHCA's new Harry S. McAlpin scholarship, honoring the first African-American reporter to work a White House press conference, in 1944.

Click here to read more about Thomma and his previous visit to Dominican in 2014 or watch the full WHCA Dinner below.


Photo courtesy WHCA