WQED’s Deborah Acklin to Speak at Seminary Scholarship Dinner


Saint Vincent Seminary will hold its annual Scholarship Dinner at on Thursday, April 15, at LeMont on Mount Washington. Deborah Acklin, executive vice president and general manager of WQED Multimedia, will be the keynote speaker.

As executive vice president and general manager, Ms. Acklin is responsible for day-to-day operations of the organization, including WQED-TV, WQEX-TV, WQED-FM, PITTSBURGH magazine, an education center, and wqed.org. She recently served as executive producer for “The War That Made America,” a four-hour, high-definition (HD), nationally released docu-drama for PBS that focused on the French and Indian War. In September of 2007, Ms. Acklin received the Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award for Station Excellence, given by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences to a television station for outstanding programming, commitment to broadcast excellence, and exemplary operations in Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, and New Jersey. It is the second year in a row that she has received this prestigious Emmy award.

Ms. Acklin returned to WQED in 2002 to serve as Senior Vice President of Production and Technology and Chief Content Officer after spending several years at the National Geographic Channel where she was recruited to help launch the cable television startup. Working from the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington DC, she helped lead a team that conceived, developed and produced “National Geographic Today,” a daily television journal about life on “planet earth.” In her role at National Geographic, she produced more television hours than any other producer in the Society’s long history.

As executive producer at WQED Pittsburgh from 1996-2000, Ms. Acklin developed blockbuster music specials for PBS that generated more than 45 million dollars for public television and still hold the record as the most successful fundraising programs to date. She also oversaw national documentaries for PBS, and created WQED’s nightly television magazine program, “On Q Magazine”.

The Pittsburgh native’s work has been honored with many awards including: a national Emmy award nomination; seven Emmy awards (Mid-Atlantic); a CINE Golden Eagle; White House Press Association honors; The Gabriel award, the Pearl award, the Pennsylvania TV/Film award from the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR); Associated Press honors for Best Newscast; Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters awards for Excellence in Broadcasting; and the personal honors of being named one of Pittsburgh’s Outstanding Women in Science by the Women & Girls’ Foundation, and one of the region’s 40 Under 40, by PITTSBURGH magazine.

Ms. Acklin is active in the Pittsburgh community on a variety of boards and committees including: Chair of The Three Rivers Arts Festival; The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium; Carlow University, The Carnegie Museum of Art; The Pennsylvania Film Institute, The Steeltown Entertainment Project, St. Vincent Seminary and The Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Society.

The Saint Vincent Seminary Scholarship Dinner helps to raise money for and awareness of the Seminary’s 61 scholarships, which are used to assist seminarians in need from dioceses throughout the country who are attending Saint Vincent Seminary.

For more information about the dinner, contact Lisa Poole in the Seminary Events Office at 724-805-2901.