2014 May Commencement Speaker
JMU Alumnus Matt Wasniewski ('91 BA, '94 MA)
Matt Wasniewski ('91 BA, '94 MA) is the Historian of the U.S. House of Representatives. The Office of the Historian studies and documents the rich history of the U.S. House as a resource for Members, staff, teachers and scholars, the media, and the public. It serves as the House’s institutional memory and strives to inspire a greater understanding of that body’s central role in U.S. history.
Prior to his appointment as Historian by House leadership in 2010, Matt served nearly a decade as the historian and deputy chief in the House Clerk’s Office of History and Preservation. He is the editor of Women in Congress, 1917–2006; Black Americans in Congress, 1870–2007; and Hispanic Americans in Congress, 1822–2012. From 1998 to 2002, Matt was the communications director and associate historian at the U.S. Capitol Historical Society. He is the past president of the Society for History in the Federal Government (2011–2012), and past chair of the Organization of American Historians’ Public History Committee (2012–2013). Before turning to a career in history, Matt was a sportswriter and editor. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in history and journalism and a Master of Arts in history from James Madison University; he holds a Ph.D. in U.S. history from the University of Maryland at College Park.