Broadcast journalist Lester Holt of NBC will speak at UC Merced's 2010 commencement ceremony.
Holt, the weekend anchor of NBC Nightly News and Today, visited UC Merced last spring to interview students about their campaign to woo First Lady Michelle Obama as keynote speaker for the university's inaugural class of graduates. He spent a few days in the area, getting acquainted with the community and UC Merced students.
The commencement ceremony is scheduled for May.
Holt was raised in Rancho Cordova near Sacramento, and attended California State University, Sacramento. He has worked around the world as a war correspondent and covered the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
"We are honored that a journalist of Mr. Holt's caliber has agreed to inspire the Class of 2010 during their commencement exercise next May," said Chancellor Steve Kang in a press release. "His Valley upbringing makes him an expert on the rich fabric of our region, and his globe-trotting pursuits as a journalist give him the perspective necessary to prepare our graduates for the global front."