Robert Anthony Snow '77
In some ways, Tony Snow's student days at Davidson hinted at his future as a writer and political commentator. In some ways, it's the last thing his friends would have predicted. He demonstrated his talents on campus as a leader, writer, philosopher, and academic. He was a hall counselor and member of the Honor Court, elected to the ODK honorary society, and named in Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities. He wrote for The Davidsonian and received the Vereen Bell Award for creative writing. He was a philosophy major, and a member of the debate team, Eumenean Literary Society, and the honorary forensics society. He even was elected president of the senior class.
Yet, Tony wasn't satisfied with the status quo. He participated in late night rap sessions to debate and exchange philosophical ideas, and he co-authored an underground newspaper that never quite made it to press. With his wild hair and many talents, he could be found playing Jethro Tull's "Aqualung" on his flute on many Friday afternoons. Although his political leanings during that time were to the left, Tony took every opportunity to challenge other people's assumptions.
Tony taught in Kenya after graduation before returning to North Carolina as an advocate for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled. Later, he studied philosophy and economics at the University of Chicago before interning at the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in Winston-Salem. He began his journalism career as an editorial writer for the Greensboro Record, and worked for several distinguished publications before becoming editorial page editor of the Washington Times. He was a nationally syndicated columnist between 1993 and 2000, when his twice-weekly columns appeared in more than 200 newspapers nationwide. He has appeared on radio and television programs worldwide including The McLaughlin Group, Crossfire, and Good Morning America.
In 1991, Tony moved from writing about politics to participating in it when he went to work for President George Bush, Sr., as his chief speechwriter and media advisor. In 1996, Tony became host of FOX News Sunday. He also serves as a political analyst on the Fox News Channel. In addition to appearing on Sunday mornings on television, he also substitutes for the host on Rush Limbaugh's national radio show. Throughout his time at Davidson and in his career, Tony has excelled at developing his own philosophies, though they may have evolved, while continually pressing others to develop, clarify, and defend their own beliefs. Tony has been described by House Minority Whip David Bonoir (D-MI) as "tough but fair, insightful and to the point."
Because you are courageous in defending your beliefs; because you articulate your opinions in a way that would make George Abernethy proud; because you challenge the status quo; because you always make time for Davidson in the midst of your busy and successful career; and because you make Davidson proud to claim you as her own, the Davidson College Alumni Association honors you, Robert Anthony Snow, with the Distinguished Alumnus Award on the occasion of the Class of 1977's 25th Reunion, April 20, 2002.