ABC News Senior Justice Department Correspondent Pierre Thomas will address graduates at Virginia Tech's 28th National Capital Region Commencement Ceremony at 1:30 p.m., Sunday, May 11, at the Center for the Arts located at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

Approximately 300 students studying at National Capital Region campuses are expected to complete their degree requirements and participate in the ceremony.

A native of Amherst County, Va., and a graduate of Virginia Tech’s Department of Communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences (Class of 1984), Thomas covers the Justice Department for ABC News. He joined the network in November 2000 and reports for "World News with Charles Gibson," "Good Morning America," "Nightline," and other ABC News programs.

He was a key member of ABC's team of correspondents covering the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, and he continues to report on all aspects of the aftermath of those attacks. The network's coverage of the Sept. 11 tragedy was widely recognized for its excellence, winning the prestigious Peabody and Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, and an Emmy Award.

In recent months, Thomas has had exclusive reports on key law enforcement stories -- ranging from child abuse to groundbreaking work on the gang MS-13, which has emerged as a multinational threat. In the summer of 2005, Thomas was the first to broadcast pictures of the aftermath of the London subway bombings.

Thomas, a former Washington Post reporter, reported on such significant stories as the Oklahoma City bombing and the FBI's role at Ruby Ridge. He joined CNN as Justice Department correspondent in 1997. He broke news on many fronts, including terrorism, cyber-crime, the hunt for Osama bin Laden, the FBI's Most Wanted list and the Justice Department's involvement in the Elian Gonzalez case.

In 1994 Thomas received the Pass Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency for his article "Beyond Grief and Fear." In 1991, and again in 1992, he won the Mort Mintz Investigative Award, and he was a finalist in 1993 for the Livingston Young Journalist Award.

Thomas joined the Washington Post in 1987, covering local Virginia politics, as well as the court and police beats in Prince William County and the city of Alexandria. In 1991 he joined the Metro projects staff and was part of a team whose work was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for reporting on illegal gun use in the Washington, D.C., region. He started his career at The Roanoke Times and World-News, and is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Virginia Tech has fostered a growing partnership with the greater metropolitan Washington D.C. community since 1969. Today, the university’s presence in the National Capital Region includes graduate programs and research centers in Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church, Leesburg, Manassas, and Middleburg. In addition to supporting the university’s teaching and research mission, Virginia Tech’s National Capital Region has established collaborations with local and federal agencies, businesses, and other institutions of higher education. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.

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