Published: Feb. 9, 2022

CU Boulder alumnus Tom Costello—an award-winning journalist and Washington correspondent for NBC News—will deliver the university's commencement speech at Folsom Field on May 5.

In a recent message to the campus community, Chancellor Philip DiStefano announced a return to the traditional in-person format for the 2022 event—following local public health requirements and guidelines—after having gone virtual in the two previous years.

Costello, who grew up in Centennial, Colorado, and graduated from CU Boulder with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism in 1987, spent six years at 9News in Denver. As an Emmy award-winning NBC News correspondent based in Washington, D.C., he now reports daily across all NBC News and MSNBC platforms, including TODAY, NBC Nightly News, MSNBC and NBC News Now.

"The class of 2022’s Senior Class Council is honored to nominate a notable alumnus of CU Boulder, Tom Costello, to speak at our May commencement ceremony,” said Julia Baum, president of CU Boulder’s Senior Class Council. “He is a spirited leader among today’s media outlets, resilient in the face of dismay and an ethical, fact-based storyteller. We cannot wait to hear what wisdom he will share with our graduating class when he joins us on May 5."

As a journalist, Costello has covered a range of topics, from the billionaire space race and the European financial markets to the death of Princess Diana; the two fatal crashes of Boeing’s 737-MAX and subsequent investigations; the shoot-down of a Ukrainian jetliner over Tehran; and the search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370. He was instrumental in covering the “Miracle on the Hudson” passenger jet landing in 2009, for which NBC News was honored with a national Emmy Award.

He served as CNBC's Nasdaq correspondent in New York from 1999 to 2002, and was on duty when terrorists attacked on 9/11. As CNBC's senior correspondent from 2002 to 2004, he produced documentaries from Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

In January 2021, Costello covered the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and the arrests that followed. He's also reported extensively on the coronavirus pandemic and the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally in Richmond, Virginia.

He has been recognized with six Emmy Awards, as well as Edward R. Murrow and National Headliner honors. He has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press, Gannett, the Radio Television Digital News Association, the University of Colorado and Boston University. He is also a recipient of the DuPont-Columbia University Award for Excellence in Journalism. 

Costello holds a master’s degree in administration/international commerce from Boston University’s Graduate Center in Brussels, Belgium.

​​The May 5 commencement ceremony is free and open to the public, and no tickets are required.