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New Mexico State University

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Sam Donaldson to speak at benefit for KRWG-TV

Veteran television newsman Sam Donaldson will be the featured speaker for a dinner on Friday, Oct. 15, to benefit KRWG-TV's Channel 22 news program at New Mexico State University.

The event will be held at the Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces. A cocktail reception for Donaldson will begin at 6 p.m. and dinner will begin at 7:30 p.m. The theme of the evening is "The Old West, the New West."

Tickets for both reception and dinner are $75 per person. Tickets for the reception only are $25 per person. Tickets are available at the Pan American Center on the NMSU campus, at Dillard's in Las Cruces and El Paso, and at the studios of KRWG-TV, the public television station located in Milton Hall on the NMSU campus.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the station's news program, which is produced by NMSU broadcast journalism students. NMSU's journalism program is one of only a few in the nation that offer broadcast students this kind of hands-on experience.

Donaldson, a 32-year veteran of ABC News, was born in El Paso, grew up on the family farm in nearby Chamberino, N.M., and since 1989 has owned a ranch near Hondo, N.M.

He was appointed chief White House correspondent for ABC News in January 1998, having first covered the White House in the same capacity from 1977 to 1989. In addition to covering the White House for "World News Tonight" and other ABC News programs, Donaldson co-anchors "20/20" and the Sunday morning broadcast "This Week with Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts."

He has covered every national political convention since 1964 with the exception of the 1992 Republican Convention in Houston.

In 1998, Donaldson received the "Broadcaster of the Year" award from the National Press Foundation. The Washington Journalism Review named him the Best Television White House Correspondent in the Business in 1985 and the Best Television Correspondent in the Business in 1986, 1987, 1988 and 1989.

Donaldson graduated from New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell in 1951, received his bachelor's degree in 1955 from Texas Western College, now the University of Texas at El Paso, and did graduate work at the University of Southern California. He has funded an endowed scholarship program for journalism students at New Mexico State University and in 1993 received an honorary doctorate from NMSU.

In addition to Donaldson's address, the program for the Oct. 15 benefit will include musical entertainment, remarks by some of Donaldson's childhood friends and classmates, and a presentation in connection with the city of Las Cruces' 150th anniversary celebration.

For more information call Beverly Merrick of NMSU's journalism faculty, (505) 646-1567, or e-mail bmerrick@nmsu.edu.