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Boris Sanchez ’09 Named 2024 A&S | Maxwell Convocation Speaker

April 18, 2024

The award-winning CNN anchor will provide the keynote address at the May 11 event.

Boris Sanchez ’09, an award-winning journalist and nationally recognized cable news anchor, will deliver the alumni keynote address at the 2024 College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) | Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs Undergraduate Convocation at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 11. The celebration will be held in the JMA Wireless Dome.

Boris Sanchez Headshot 2024
Boris Sanchez ’09

A dual international relations and broadcast journalism graduate with over a decade of experience, Sanchez has co-anchored "CNN News Central" since April 2023. In that role, he has helped lead CNN’s coverage of major events, including former President Trump’s legal issues, the OceanGate Titan submarine tragedy, conflicts in Palestine and Ukraine, and Supreme Court decisions on affirmative action and LGBTQ rights. He has also interviewed U.S. political officials about Trump’s ballot eligibility and electing a new speaker of the House.

Sanchez says it’s a “momentous honor” to have been asked to give remarks to graduates at his alma mater, especially since it’s the Maxwell School’s 100th anniversary. “Syracuse helped shape everything I have aimed to accomplish throughout my career, and I am deeply humbled and grateful,” he says. “I look forward to celebrating the next generation and this important milestone with a personal message about the American Dream and our shared responsibility to forge a future defined by truth.”

While serving as emcee for the Maxwell School’s Awards of Excellence celebration in Washington, D.C., in April 2023, Sanchez told the audience of alumni and friends that his family’s passion for justice and democracy inspired his journalism career. He emigrated from Cuba as a small child after his grandfather was sentenced to two decades in prison for his strong beliefs about democracy. The same authoritarian dictatorship denied Sanchez’s mother’s dream of becoming a writer or news reporter—instead, her son said, she was sent to work in a tin can factory. “While their dreams were deferred, I was fortunate to pursue an education and career specializing in what they were not allowed to do, and that is, speak truth to power,” said Sanchez at the event.

Sanchez says his career has provided a platform to speak for people that are underrepresented, and to defend democracy. “And that's not something I take lightly,” he adds.

Prior to joining “CNN News Central,” Sanchez co-anchored the CNN program “New Day Weekend.” Before that, he was a CNN White House correspondent and a CNN national correspondent in Miami and New York City, and covered the 2016 protests in Charlotte, North Carolina, for which CNN won an Edward R. Murrow Award.

Early in his career, Sanchez faced challenges and uncertainty. His first job was as a weekend anchor and reporter at a small station in Redding, California, which involved solo work, reporting on spot news, and observing local politics in town halls and community meetings.

After Redding, he anchored for FOX 31 in Denver, where he broke a series of stories on legalization of recreational marijuana use in Colorado. Sanchez’s work earned a 2015 Heartland Regional Emmy Award.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Boris Sanchez back to the Syracuse University campus to give remarks to members of the graduating class of 2024,” says Maxwell School Dean David M. Van Slyke. “His professional accomplishments from a small-town station to CNN, and his dedication to truth and democracy, are an inspiration to our newest alumni as they embark on careers across sectors and across the world.”

By Michael Kelly

Convocation Weekend

The 2024 College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) | Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs Undergraduate Convocation will be held at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 11, in the JMA Wireless Dome. A reception for graduates and their guests will follow in the Quad. More information about convocation is available online.

Communications and Media Relations Office
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