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2008.11.05 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

Presidential Advisor, NU Graduate Kicks Off Hoagland Lecture Series

Omaha - Ted Sorensen, a former advisor to President John F. Kennedy and a University of Nebraska graduate, is the inaugural speaker for the Peter J. Hoagland Integrity in Public Service Lecture Series at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO).

Sorensen will speak at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19, at the Thompson Alumni Center, 6705 Dodge St., about his Nebraska roots and his work in the White House. The event is free and open to the public.

Following Sorensen’s 30-minute lecture, he will answer questions from attendees and sign copies of his latest book, “Counselor: A Life at the Edge of History,” which was published earlier this year.

The series is sponsored by UNO, the College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS), the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Arts and Sciences, and the University of Nebraska Foundation.

The series is in memory of Nebraska Congressman Peter J. Hoagland, who passed away in 2007.

Sorensen was born in Lincoln and graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 1949 with a bachelor’s degree and in 1951 with a juris doctor. After law school, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he would ultimately work for John F. Kennedy.

He left the White House soon after JFK’s death, and in 1966 joined a New York City law firm, where, as a prominent international lawyer, he advised governments, multinational organizations and major corporations around the world. He also wrote a bestselling biography of JFK. Sorensen remains active in political and international issues, and lives in New York City with his wife, Gillian.

Sorensen’s presentation is part of Democracy Matters, a citizen engagement initiative launched this year by CPACS in celebration of its 35th anniversary. Future events will include community forums, debates, documentary screenings and guest lectures at UNO.

Hoagland’s friend and former chief of staff, Jim Crounse, made a gift to the University of Nebraska Foundation earlier this year to create the Hoagland lecture series. The series features speakers who articulate the kind of values Hoagland personified.

"Peter Hoagland served our state and our nation with integrity,” Crounse said. “And he worked in a bipartisan way to promote a better understanding of issues and solutions. This lecture series honors him for bringing those traits to public office, and we hope it will inspire young Nebraskans to follow in his footsteps."

Crounse served as chief of staff to Hoagland from 1989 to 1991. Today Crounse is a partner at the Mack-Crounse Group, one of the pre-eminent direct mail consultants in the Democratic Party. Crounse was on the direct mail team for the Obama campaign and his firm had several other big wins in other races around the country for Democratic candidates.

Prior to coming to Washington, D.C., in 1987, Crounse had a political consulting firm in Omaha, where he produced direct mail, TV and radio ads for Democratic candidates and grassroots campaigns. He also worked for the Nebraska State Legislature.

Prior to being elected to the Nebraska Legislature in 1978, Hoagland worked with Nebraska Common Cause to write and pass into law the Nebraska Open Meetings Law. In addition, he helped to create the Political Accountability and Disclosure Committee, which regulates political activity in Nebraska.

While in the state legislature, Hoagland was known for his work on legislation supporting environmental causes and on issues affecting financial service companies in his home district, which included Omaha and the surrounding area. During his time in Congress, Hoagland was known as a student of the issues and for his bipartisan approach to legislation. He was placed on the Ways and Means Committee out of respect for his legislative ability.

Hoagland passed away Oct. 30, 2007, at the age of 65 from complications of Parkinson’s disease.

* *

UNO will celebrate its 100th anniversary beginning October 8, 2008. This celebration will recognize the partnership among the City of Omaha, its citizens and UNO to build a vibrant and dynamic community. The centennial theme is “UNO: Central To Our City Since 1908.” This theme acknowledges the past contributions of UNO to the community and sets the stage for great things to come.

UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908. For Centennial information, go to http://www.unomaha.edu/100/.

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