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Journalism Icon Helen Thomas to Visit Hawaii

Legendary White House correspondent to make appearances on Oahu and in Hilo

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Sep 16, 2002

Helen Thomas, one of America‘s most respected journalists, will be visiting Hawaiʻi and speaking at numerous venues to share her experiences as a White House correspondent and bureau chief, and to discuss her recent book, "Thanks for the Memories, Mr. President: Wit and Wisdom from the Front Row at the White House." Her main appearance will be on Monday, September 23, at 7:30 p.m. at the UH Mānoa Campus Center Ballroom when she will speak as part of the Distinguished Lecture Series. The event is free and open to the public.

In her 59-year career, Helen Thomas has covered an unprecedented nine presidential administrations as a correspondent for United Press International (UPI), a White House bureau chief, and currently, as a columnist for Hearst newspapers. She became UPI‘s White House bureau chief in 1974 — the first woman to hold such a position — and was also the only female print journalist to travel with President Nixon to China on his groundbreaking trip in 1972. She subsequently circled the globe several times with former Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton, and with the current President George W. Bush. She‘ll be sharing her experiences from these times with students, media and the community during her visit to Hawaiʻi.

"This is a remarkable event for the Journalism department, the University and our community to have a journalist of this caliber share her professional and personal experiences with some of the most powerful leaders in history," said UH President Evan Dobelle. "Helen Thomas is an icon in the field of journalism as well as a noted author and role model for many of today‘s most successful correspondents."

Thomas‘ lecture on September 23 is entitled "Thanks for the Memories, Mr. President." She will share some of the humorous and touching stories she‘s published in her recent book as well as provide her own insight into journalism ethics. Copies of her book will be available for purchase and signing after her lecture.

Thomas also plans to speak to journalism students at Waialua High School about the importance of high school journalism programs and University of Hawaiʻi efforts to increase the number of minorities going into the profession. Waialua was recently awarded a $2,500 grant from the Newspaper Association of America Foundation to expand their journalism program.

In addition, Thomas will host an open forum for journalism students and student leaders at UH Mānoa and UH Hilo.

Her visit to Hawaiʻi is sponsored by Sodexho, American Airlines, Society of Professional Journalists — Hawaiʻi Chapter, Carol Burnett Fund for Responsible Journalism, and Sheila Donnelly & Associates.