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Celebrated Sports Journalist and U Alumna, Holly Rowe, Speaks at the University of Utah

The College of Humanities hosts Rowe for the annual Parry D. Sorensen Distinguished Lecture

Friday, April 19, 2024, 6 – 8pm (Reception to follow)
Red Butte Garden Orangerie

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Holly Rowe headshot

Fresh off the “Caitlin Clark beat” for ESPN, Holly Rowe, three-time Emmy winner and recipient of the 2023 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Curt Gowdy Award, will speak at the University of Utah, Friday, April 19, in Red Butte Garden’s Richard K. Hemingway Orangerie at 6 p.m. Presented by the College of Humanities, Rowe will give the 2024 Parry D. Sorensen Distinguished Lecture titled, “Working with Joy and Passion: Keys to a Successful Career.” Rowe will also host a workshop with students interested in learning from her multifaceted career, Friday, April 19, in the Enda Anderson Communication Institute inside the Languages and Communication Building (LNCO 2910) on the U campus at 4 p.m.

After receiving a degree in communication from the U, Rowe joined ESPN and ABC Sports in 1995 and has served as one of the lead reporters on ESPN Saturday Night Prime College Football, Men’s College Basketball, Women’s College Basketball and Final Four, Women’s World Series, NCAA Volleyball Indoor and Beach National Championships, NCAA Gymnastics, and lead WNBA announce team.

“As an alumna and former writer for the Daily Utah Chronicle, it’s been very exciting to see how Holly’s career has thrived,” said Avery Holton, chair of the Department of Communication. “In the Department of Communication, we prepare our journalism students to be resourceful, flexible, and to find their unique storytelling identities. Holly is a great example of how skills, passion, perseverance, and vision can combine for an incredible career.”

As one of sports most versatile announcers, Rowe has also covered soccer, swimming, track & field and the Little League World Series of baseball and softball for ESPN. She was named the first female analyst in Utah Jazz history in 2021.

Rowe is a producer and writer of documentaries and features that have aired on KBYU TV, ESPN and Fox 13 TV in Salt Lake City. After a five-year battle with stage IV metastatic melanoma, Rowe has become a tireless advocate for cancer research and prevention.

The Parry and Margaret Sorensen Endowment in the Department of Communication was established to honor the life, legacy, and ongoing impact of Parry D. Sorensen, prolific writer, university leader, beloved journalism professor, and passionate “Utah Man.” Created by students and the Sorensen family in 1997, this endowed fund creates opportunities for students, faculty, alumni, and community members alike to learn from leading journalists through the annual Parry D. Sorensen Distinguished Lecture.

“We are grateful to the Sorensen family for establishing this lecture so our students and our community can connect with, learn from, and flourish alongside such influential journalists,” said Holton


About Parry D. Sorensen and Margaret Christensen Sorensen

Parry D. Sorensen was born in Manti, and attended the University of Utah where he was editor of the Chronicle and a campus reporter for the Deseret News. He went onto a successful career in journalism, served as a special agent in the FBI, and became the first Director of University of Utah Relations in 1946. He was a prominent figure in the community and at the U, serving in the administrations of Presidents Olpin, Fletcher, Emery, and Gardner. He wrote for the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Examiner, the Los Angeles Times, the National Observer, Fortune, and People. He received an honorary Doctor of Humanities from the U in 1990 and was a favorite professor of journalism who influenced countless students before his retirement in 1992. Parry was at his computer writing a feature article right up until the day he died.

Margaret Christensen Sorensen was born in Logan and grew up in Provo, where she received an undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University. Along with raising five children with Professor Sorensen, she was deeply involved at the U for more than 60 years, serving as president of the University of Utah Women’s Club. She was also a longtime member of the state's Women's Legislative Council.


Last Updated: 4/5/24