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MSNBC anchor Lester Holt to kick off Centennial Speaker Series

Sept. 12, 2005

Abilene Christian University's Centennial Speaker Series will begin Thursday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. with Lester Holt, lead anchor for daytime and breaking news coverage on MSNBC and co-anchor for the weekend TODAY Show on NBC.  Holt will be speaking on "Faith and Excellence in the Media and American Society" during a dinner held at the Abilene Civic Center.

Holt has served as primary anchor for MSNBC's coverage of major news events such as Operation Iraqi Freedom, the war in Afghanistan and also served as lead daytime anchor for MSNBC's coverage of Decision 2000.  He also served as anchor of "Countdown: Iraq," and "Operation Iraqi Freedom" a nightly news telecast concentrating on the latest developments surrounding the war with Iraq, from October 2002 through May 2003.  Most recently Holt has been reporting live from the gulf coast from cities such as Gulfport, Miss., and New Orleans, La., on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. 

"Audiences can look forward to hearing the perspective of a Christian media representative and his front line experiences in covering news all over the world," said Amber Peck, director of Alumni Relations.  "Christians are often in the minority in national media circles, so we're excited to have someone from the national level present his point-of-view to members of the ACU and Abilene communities."

The award winning broadcast journalist began at MSNBC after 13 years of anchoring the evening news for WBBM-TV in Chicago where, in addition to his duties as news anchor, he also reported extensively from trouble spots around the world including Iraq, Northern Ireland, Somalia, El Salvador and Haiti. He has also contributed to the CBS News broadcast "48 Hours," earning a 1990 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism award for his work on "48 Hours: No Place Like Home."  Holt is a member of the Manhattan Church of Christ in New York City.

General admission tickets are $20, student tickets are $10, and student sponsorships are $10.  Table sponsorships are available for $500 and include dinner for 10, a reception with Holt and an autographed photo. Tickets to the event must be purchased by Sept. 16, and there are no refunds available within 72 hours of the event. 

For more information about the event or ticket ordering, visit or call 800-373-4220 toll free or 325-674-2622. 

ACU, a national leader in Christian higher education with 4,700 students from around the world, was founded Sept. 11, 1906. The university is celebrating its Centennial year from Aug. 22, 2005 to Sept. 11, 2006 with the theme "Called to Faith and Excellence."


If you are a member of the media who would like more information about this release, please contact Wendy Kilmer, director of public relations.

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