Marquette University News Release

Journalist freed from captivity in Libya shares experience at Marquette

November 29, 2011

Marquette alum James Foley to deliver the Nieman Lecture

Event Information:

Date: Wednesday, Dec. 7
Time: 6 p.m.
Place: Alumni Memorial Union Monaghan Ballroom, 1442 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Journalist James Foley will speak about his experience as a captive in Libya at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7, in the Marquette University’s Alumni Memorial Union Monaghan Ballroom, 1442 W. Wisconsin Ave. The speech is free and open to the public.

Foley, a 1996 Marquette graduate, arrived in Libya in March 2011 as a reporter for the GlobalPost to cover the growing hostilities between rebels and the regime of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. Gadhafi forces killed a fellow journalist who was traveling with Foley and apprehended him and two colleagues who were then held in a Tripoli jail for 45 days.

Foley was set free following an international campaign spearheaded by his friends from Marquette, former colleagues at Teach For America, and family and childhood friends in New Hampshire. The campaign included an online petition that garnered nearly 35,000 signatures and a media plan that brought his captivity and eventual release to the world’s attention.

“Journalists have always faced incredible obstacles in covering conflict, so James Foley’s story is both familiar and extraordinary,” said Diederich College Dean Lori Bergen. “His courage and perseverance in service to truth are a testament to his roots at Marquette, and the chance for our students to hear about his experiences in Libya and his commitment to covering the difficult stories of war is a privilege.”

His speech, “A Conflict Correspondent’s Front-Row View of History,” is part of a lecture series sponsored by the J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication. The Nieman Chair and Lecture series was endowed in honor of Lucius W. Nieman, who founded the Milwaukee Journal in 1882 at age 24 and served as the paper’s long-time editor-in-chief.

The story of Foley’s capture and release can be found in the current Marquette Magazine, including a letter to Marquette in his own words.

Media wishing to speak to Foley should contact Tim Cigelske in the Office of Marketing and Communication, at (414) 288-4864 or

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