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Tom Curley, president and chief executive officer of The Associated Press, will speak at a public forum at Colby College on Sunday, Sept. 19. The program will be at 8 p.m. in the Page Commons Room in the Cotter Union on the Waterville campus.

Curley will talk about the role of journalism in contemporary society. Curley took over leadership of the AP on June 1, 2003. He is the 12th person to head the AP since its founding in 1848.

Previously he was president and publisher of USA Today, the nation’s largest selling newspaper. Since 1998 he was senior vice president of the newspaper’s owner, Gannett Co. Inc., publisher of 100 daily newspapers in the United States.

The program is co-sponsored by Colby’s Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement and the Morning Sentinel as part of a yearlong celebration of the Sentinel’s 100th birthday.

“Tom Curley is one of the most distinguished journalists in the nation, and we are very pleased that he has agreed to come to Waterville to discuss this important subject, and to help us celebrate the Sentinel’s birthday,” said David B. Offer, executive editor of the Sentinel and the Kennebec Journal.

“With our nation at war and an election just weeks away, there could be no better time to hear from the man who directs the world’s largest news organization,” Offer said.

The program is free and open to the public.