Lester HoltLester Holt
Award-Winning Journalist/Civic Leader

California State University, Sacramento

Lester Holt is an award-winning journalist who has covered some of the nation's—and the world's—most important news stories as a television reporter and anchor. He co-anchors the weekend edition of the "Today" show and is the weekend and substitute anchor for the "NBC Nightly News." In addition, he anchors "Dateline NBC," contributes to the cable news network MSNBC and continues to report from the field on stories of national and international significance.

After studying government at Sacramento State, Mr. Holt began a more than 30-year career in news that put him on the frontlines of such breaking stories as the war in Afghanistan and the 2011 Egyptian revolution. He offered onsite reporting from the scenes of natural disasters including the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear incident in Japan, the 2010 oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Before becoming co-anchor of "Weekend Today," Mr. Holt hosted his own daily news show, "Lester Holt Live." He also led the MSNBC's daytime coverage of the 2000 election and recount, and the lead-up to the Iraq War.

His work on the CBS News program "48 Hours" earned him a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism award for the report "No Place Like Home." And he was part of the "Today" anchor team that won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Morning Program. In 2013, he received a Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment award from the Radio Television Digital News Association, given to someone who has made a major contribution to the protection of First Amendment freedoms. At the event, he said that the "highest calling" for what he does is "being a reporter."

In recognition of his professional achievements and commitment to informing the nation's citizens, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, Sacramento are proud to confer on Lester Holt the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.​