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Orion Samuelson to speak at afternoon commencement at Illinois

Orion Samuelson
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College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

Orion Samuelson, widely regarded as the best-known agricultural broadcaster in the U.S., will be the speaker at the afternoon campuswide commencement ceremony at the University of Illinois May 13.

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3/16/2012 | Jeff Unger, News Bureau | 217-3331085; news@illinois.edu

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Orion Samuelson, widely regarded as the best-known agricultural broadcaster in the U.S., will be the speaker at the afternoon campuswide commencement ceremony at the University of Illinois May 13 at Assembly Hall.

Cokie Roberts, a political commentator for ABC News, will speak at the 10:30 a.m. ceremony. She originally had been scheduled to also speak at the afternoon ceremony but is unable to because of a scheduling conflict.

Born on a dairy farm near La Crosse, Wis., Samuelson considered becoming a Lutheran minister before deciding on six months of radio school instead. Prior to being named farm service director for WGN in Chicago, Samuelson served as farm director of WBAY stations in Green Bay, Wis.
Today Samuelson is heard over a syndicate of 260 stations broadcasting his “National Farm Report” daily and with “Samuelson Sez,” a weekly series allowing Samuelson to offer opinions and observations on the agricultural community. Since 1975, he has produced and has been the host of "U.S. Farm Report," a weekly television program seen on 190 Midwest stations.

In May 2001, Samuelson was named a Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois and received the Lincoln Medal, the highest award given by the state of Illinois. A week later the U. of I. presented him with an honorary doctoral degree.

Roberts, who provides analysis for all ABC network news programming, co-anchored “This Week” from 1996-2002 with Sam Donaldson. She also serves as senior news analyst for National Public Radio.
In her more than 40 years in broadcasting, she has won numerous awards, including three Emmys. She is a member of the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, and was cited by American Women in Radio and Television as one of the 50 greatest women in the history of broadcasting.



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