Alumni returns to talk about challenges and successes of being a gay news anchor

Before he headed to the stage, he said that he hoped to express to the audience that “from this point forward…life is the creation of your choice.”

As people began to take their seats, Casey said that during the lecture he “hope[s] that people will see how a liberal arts education prepares you for diverse careers in the world.”

Roberts graduated from Western Maryland College in 1994 with a degree in Communication and a minor in journalism. His career soared with positions at NBC, CNN, CBS, with contributions to “Entertainment Tonight” and “The Insider,” and finally with his position as news anchor at MSNBC. After establishing his success in the field of television journalism, he has played himself in “30 Rock,” as well as in movies like The Avengers and the upcoming Iron Man 3.

In the close, casual setting of familiar faces and enthusiastic students, Roberts mentioned that the last time he was in this theater was over 20 years ago, to take a final for an acting class; he laughed about how he played the role of Tin Man in a recreation of The Wizard of Oz.

As he tells this anecdote to the audience, many laugh with him in nostalgia. Among the many people there to show their support for Roberts were his husband Patrick Abner, Robert’s mother, his fraternity brothers, and his college girlfriend.

He began his discussion by outlining the specifics of how he got to where he is, from local internships to a job at CNN, and eventually his current position with MSNBC. He said that for him, “luck, skill, and timing” played a huge role in how he had achieved his success.

But Roberts did not get where he is today without facing many challenges. When he was 14, he was sexually abused by a Catholic priest at his school in Baltimore; he kept this abuse to himself, which caused him to attempt suicide. Even after that, he refused to open up about what had happened to him at school. He was also struggling with the idea of sharing his sexuality with his family and friends, as well as to the public eye.

“I was always very afraid that if I revealed myself I wouldn’t have a future in TV journalism.”

Roberts decided to open up personally to his family and friends about not only his abuse, but about his sexuality.