The second woman to serve as White House Press Secretary, Dana Perino, a 1994 graduate of Colorado State University-Pueblo, will share her rise to the White House and the top of her profession with graduates in May. Perino will present the Commencement Address during the spring ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 3 at the Colorado State Fair Events Center.
Perino became White House Press Secretary for President George W. Bush, having taken over the position on Sept. 14, 2007. From March 27 to April 30, 2007, she was the Acting White House Press Secretary while her predecessor Tony Snow underwent treatment for a recurrence of colon cancer. She is only the second woman to serve as White House Press Secretary, following Dee Dee Myers during the Clinton Administration.
Perino graduated from then University of Southern Colorado in 1994 with a bachelor's degree in mass communications and a minor in both political science and Spanish. While attending the University, she was active on the forensics team and with KTSC. From there, Dana received her master's degree at the University of Illinois-Springfield, where she also worked as a daily reporter covering the Illinois Capitol for SCIA-TV, a CBS affiliate. She then went on to work in Washington, D.C. for Rep. Scott McInnis of Colorado as a staff assistant before serving nearly four years as the press secretary for retired Colorado Congressman Dan Schaefer.
After Representative Schaefer announced his retirement, Perino moved to England to marry businessman Peter McMahon. After a year in England, Perino and McMahon moved back to the United States and resided in San Diego, California, for three years. During that time, Perino worked in the field of high-tech public affairs.
In Nov. 2001, Perino returned to Washington, D.C. to serve as a spokesperson for the Department of Justice. Several months later, she was asked to join the White House where she served as the Director of Communications for the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), which oversees the implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act, where all federal agencies must complete environmental assessments on their activities before they take action.
Perino received the 2003 Outstanding Alumna Award from the CSU-Pueblo Alumni Association.
On May 3, guests at the commencement ceremony may arrive after 8 a.m. in order to secure seating, which is on a first-come, first-served basis. Following the commencement ceremony, the CSU-Pueblo Alumni Association will sponsor a reception for graduates and their guests.