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By Dan Adkins

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The lecture series' first speaker will be Harold Burson, identified by PR Week as "the century's most influential PR figure."  He will speak on "The Role of Public Relations in Society" at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, in the William T. Young Library auditorium.

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Sept. 29, 2000 – (Lexington, Ky.) – The University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications has established the James C. Bowling Executive-In-Residence Lecture Series sponsored by the UK Journalism Alumni Association.  The first professional to speak on campus as part of the series will be Harold Burson, chairman and founder of the public relations firm Burson-Marsteller Inc.

During his three days in Lexington, Burson will spend time working with student groups, consulting with faculty and administrators on current public relations tactics and business trends, and visiting with public relations professionals from the community.

Burson will speak on “The Role of Public Relations in Society” at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, in the William T. Young Library auditorium following a 6 p.m. dinner and reception at the Hilary J. Boone Faculty Center.  At the dinner, special recognition and the presentation of a lifetime-achievement award will be given to an individual who has achieved success in the field of public relations during his/her career.  The person must be a native Kentuckian or must have spent a large part of his/her career in the state.

The James C. Bowling Executive-In-Residence Lecture Series is being funded with a $100,000 endowment grant from Joseph F. Cullman 3rd.  Cullman is a retired chairman of the board of Philip Morris Cos. Inc., where he worked for years alongside Bowling.  His contribution will bring a nationally recognized public relations professional to UK’s campus each year.

“The school is truly grateful to Mr. Cullman for his generosity,” said Jack Guthrie, president of the UK Journalism Alumni Association.  “In keeping with his wishes, this executive-in-residence lecture series will endeavor to pay homage to Jim Bowling’s love for the University of Kentucky and his chosen field of public relations.”

Guthrie said the Journalism Alumni Association is currently raising an additional $100,000 from alumni and friends of the university who knew Bowling.

A native of Paducah, Bowling spent 35 years at Philip Morris climbing through the corporate ranks to vice president of corporate affairs.   He also served on the company’s board of directors.  During his career, Bowling was a much sought-after speaker for public relations groups throughout the country and had close ties with the United States Information Agency and key staff members of several U.S. presidents.

Bowling was a member of the UK Development Council, the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at UK and assisted UK in many other ways during his distinguished career in New York.  Honorary doctorate degrees were awarded to Bowling from UK, the University of Louisville and Murray State University.  He died in June 1997.

Harold Burson, chairman and founder of Burson-Marsteller, spent more than 50 years serving as counselor to and confidante of corporate CEOs, government leaders and heads of public sector institutions.  PR Week described him as “the century’s most influential PR figure.”

Burson has contributed to the public relations industry and worldwide community as a member and leader of numerous organizations, among them: presidential appointee to the Fine Arts Commission, Washington, D.C., 1981-85; chairman of the National Council on Economic Education; trustee of the Economics Club of New York; chairman of the USIA Public Relations advisory committee, and board member of the World Wildlife Fund.

He has earned various awards and honors, including the Public Relations Society of America Gold Anvil Award (1980) and the Arthur W. Page Society Hall of Fame Award (1991).  He also was named Public Relations Professional of the Year by Public Relations News (1997 and 1989).

Burson is a veteran of World War II.  As a news correspondent for American Forces Network, he covered the Nuremberg Trial of leading Nazi war criminals.

Tickets to the Oct. 19 dinner are $50 each.  The lecture is free and open to the public.  For more information or to order tickets, call (859) 257-1730.

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