Broadcast Pioneer Dave Roberts delivered the 85th commencement address at Chestnut Hill College, on Saturday, May 12 at an outdoor ceremony on the College’s campus.
This year, Chestnut Hill College awarded 351 bachelor degrees, 219 graduate degrees as well as 30 doctoral degrees in clinical psychology during the ceremony. An honorary Doctor of Laws degree will be awarded to Dave Roberts for his outstanding community service work supporting local charities that include the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Lupus Foundation, and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Barbara D’Iorio Martino ’60, chair of the board of directors will receive the Chestnut Hill Medal.
David Thomas Boreanaz, also known on television as Dave Roberts, is a man of many talents and was a familiar and beloved presence on Philadelphia’s “Action News” for a number of decades. Dave attended Syracuse University as a speech and dramatic arts student, graduating with a dual major in English and communications. He began his career as a radio broadcaster in Syracuse and Buffalo, and then in late 1950s served as the U.S. Army’s news director for the Caribbean Forces Radio-TV network in the Panama Canal Zone. He then returned to Buffalo, where he continued in TV, hosting a children’s program, the quiz show “Dialing for Dollars,” and also began his work as the WKBW-TV weatherman. Dave moved to Philadelphia in 1978 and worked as the co-host for the morning television show “AM Philadelphia” with Lisa Thomas-Laury. Following the tragic and untimely death of Jim O’Brien on September 25, 1983, Dave began reporting the weather for WPVI’s “Action News.”
In 1993, the National Weather Association awarded him the “Weathercaster Seal of Approval.” In 2000, he was inducted into the Philadelphia Broadcast Pioneer’s Hall of Fame and selected as the “Person of the Year” by the Philadelphia Broadcast Pioneers Association. He was also inducted into the Buffalo Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame.
Over the years, Dave Roberts developed many interests and activities outside of his work at WPVI. As a member of the Screen Actors Guild, he appeared in Brian DePalma’s “Blow Out” with John Travolta. He also made guest appearances on ABC’s soap opera “All My Children,” Dick Clark’s “Inside America,” ABC’s “Thirtysomething,” and “Bones” in which his son stars.
Off-screen, his charity work is notable. He is active in many organizations, such as the Variety Club and the Knights of Columbus, where he is a Fourth Degree Knight. He has shared his talent and time with many charities, including the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Lupus Foundation and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. For many years, he was the familiar face on Channel 6 as the host of the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon. The Muscular Dystrophy Association honored him for 35 years of service, and the Central Delco Lodge #2438, Order of Sons of Italy in America, awarded Dave with its “Man of the Year Achievement Award” for his outstanding service to the community. In 2004, he was awarded the Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award from the Boy Scouts for “unselfish service to the youth of America.” Dave has been married to his wife Patti for more than 50 years, and they have three grown children and four grandchildren.