Lester Holt enjoys a proud homecoming

Lester Holt is one of the world’s most respected broadcast journalists – and it all began for him at Sacramento State. He became a better student and made the decision to become a journalist while at the University, he says. “It set me off into the world.”

He still considers himself a student – “and my finals are every night at 6:30 Eastern time when I get in front of the camera.”

Holt, 57, who anchors both NBC Nightly News and Dateline NBC, came home to Sacramento this month when he interviewed Sac State graduate students Ahlam Abdul-Rahman and Norma Mendoza as a part of a national discussion on immigration in the days leading up to the presidential inauguration. Sacramento was the first stop on his “Across America” series for Nightly News.

President Robert S. Nelsen with NBC News anchor Lester Holt on the Sac State campus during Holt’s Jan. 17 visit. (Sacramento State/Rob Neep)

While in town, he also visited the Sacramento State campus, where he was a government major in the late 1970s. (See our photos from his visit.) His parents worried when he left school to take a chance on a job with a San Francisco radio station. They needn’t have been concerned: Eighteen months later, he was working at the CBS-TV affiliate in New York City and was on his way.

Last year, Holt was named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. And in September 2016, he became the first African American moderator of a general-election presidential debate in nearly a quarter-century when candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump faced off for the first time.

Holt’s alma mater has recognized his world-famous achievements – conferring an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree on the broadcaster during Spring 2015 Commencement ceremonies at Sleep Train Arena. Holt noted in his remarks that his father, Lester Holt Sr., is a Sac State graduate. (View a video of his Commencement talk.)

Please enjoy this video – and read more about Lester Holt Jr., who is proud to be #MadeAtSacState.


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