Journalist Lester Holt named Rutgers University’s commencement speaker

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Lester Holt (NBC Universal photo)
Urban News Staff Reports

NBC News journalist Lester Holt is serving as speaker at the 254th anniversary commencement of Rutgers University-New Brunswick and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences on May 17.

Holt was named NBC Nightly News anchor in June 2015 after eight years as anchor of NBC Nightly News weekend editions and 12 years as coanchor of Weekend TODAY. In addition, he has served as principal anchor of Dateline NBC since September 2011.

Holt, who recently earned the distinction of being the “most-trusted television news personality in America” in a Hollywood Reporter/Morning Consult poll, will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the May 17 ceremony at SHI Stadium in Piscataway.

During his brief break from covering the 2020 election to speak to Rutgers graduates, Holt expects to address online communications in polarizing times and how they impact journalism.

“As so many of us assume the role of ‘citizen journalists’ via social media, we have to assume the responsibility that comes with it,” he said.

Holt has been recognized with numerous honors, including multiple Emmy Awards and a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. In 2019, he was honored with the prestigious Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism. Two years prior in 2017, he was honored with Quinnipiac University’s Fred Friendly First Amendment Award. In 2016, Holt received several notable designations; he was featured on Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list, The Hollywood Reporter’s Most Powerful People in New York list, and was named “Journalist of the Year” by the National Association of Black Journalists.

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