Indiana State University Newsroom

Authors, former ambassador headline Speakers Series at Indiana State

June 10, 2009

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Three prominent authors and a former ambassador and civil rights figure will appear at Indiana State University as part of its University Speakers Series during the 2009-2010 academic year. A book signing and reception will follow each presentation. All events are free and open to the public.

Bryan Burrough will speak at 7 p.m. Oct. 5 in Tilson Auditorium. Burrough is a special correspondent at Vanity Fair magazine and the author of five books, including the No. 1 New York Times Best-Seller "Barbarians at the Gate" and the bestselling "Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34."

"Public Enemies" is the definitive account of the 1930s crime wave that brought criminals like Bonnie and Clyde to America's front pages. It served as the basis for the upcoming Universal Studios release "Public Enemies," starring Johnny Depp as legendary bank robber John Dillinger and Christian Bale as his nemesis, FBI agent Melvin Purvis.

His most recent book, "The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes" profiles the Big Four oil dynasties of H.L. Hunt, Roy Cullen, Clint Murchison and Sid Richardson, along with their cronies, rivals and families.

In addition to consulting work for 60 Minutes and various Hollywood studios, Burrough has appeared in many documentary films.

Mitch Albom will speak at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 19 in Tilson Auditorium. Author of "Tuesdays with Morrie," "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" and "For One More Day," Albom, a writer and broadcaster, has become an inspiration to millions around the world.

His newest release, "Have a Little Faith: A True Story of a Last Request," is a true life story -- Albom's quest to honor a last request and send a beloved rabbi off to heaven. Along the way, Albom - who walked away from a deeply religious background as a young man - rekindles his faith by sitting with and caring for the wise, funny, but slowly decaying man of the cloth. Together, they explore the things that pull people apart about faith, as well as the universal beliefs that bring people together.

"Tuesdays with Morrie" became an international phenomenon with more than 14 million copies sold and is now the bestselling memoir of all time. In 2003 Albom's first novel, "The Five People You Meet in Heaven," debuted at No. 1 on The New York Times bestseller list and sold nearly five million copies in its first year. "For One More Day," explores the themes of family, divorce, and lost loved ones.

A columnist for the Detroit Free Press, Albom also hosts two radio shows that originate in Detroit on WJR-AM and reaches 38 states and appears on ESPN's "Sports Reporters."

He is a member of The Rock Bottom Remainders, a band that includes some of today's most talented authors. Between them, they've published more than 150 titles, sold more than 150 million books, and been translated into more than 25 languages. Albom, who plays keyboard, joins Dave Barry, Roy Blount, Jr., Greg Iles, Stephen King, Simpsons creator Matt Groening, James McBride, Amy Tan, Ridley Pearson and Scott Turow in performing and raising more than $1.5 million to support various causes, including literacy initiatives and book festivals.

Jeffrey Zaslow will speak at 7 p.m. Nov. 10 in Tilson Auditorium. Zaslow is a columnist for The Wall Street Journal and co-author of the current international bestseller "The Last Lecture," which has been selected as Indiana State's Summer Reading program.

Zaslow's column, "Moving On," focuses on life transitions and often attracts wide media interest. That was certainly the case in September 2007 after he attended the final lecture of Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch. His column about the talk sparked a worldwide phenomenon. Tens of millions of people have since viewed footage of the lecture on the Internet and on TV.

"The Last Lecture" is now being translated into 36 languages, is a No. 1 New York Times best-seller and has topped best-seller lists around the world. There are more than four million copies in print in the U.S. alone.

In 2000, Zaslow received the Will Rogers Humanitarian Award, given to a newspaper columnist who exemplifies the ideals and public service work of the noted humorist and columnist. He was honored for using his column to run programs that benefited 47,000 disadvantaged Chicago children. His annual singles party for charity, Zazz Bash, drew 7,000 readers a year and resulted in 78 marriages.

His latest book, "The Girls from Ames," is a moving tribute to female friendships, and an inspiring true story of 11 girls and the ten women they became.

Andrew Young will speak at 7 p.m. Feb. 4, 2010, in Tilson Auditorium. Ambassador, congressman, mayor, humanitarian, ordained minister, international businessman and sports enthusiast, Young has been serving and shaping America for almost 50 years.

Young had a significant role in the Civil Rights movement. He worked on drives to register black voters and in 1960 he joined the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He was jailed for his participation in civil rights demonstrations, in Selma, Ala., and in St. Augustine, Fla.

Young played a key role in the events in Birmingham, serving as a mediator between the white and black communities. In 1964 he was named executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), becoming one of Martin Luther King Jr's principal lieutenants. As a colleague and friend to King, he was a key strategist and negotiator during the civil rights campaigns in Birmingham (1963) and Selma (1965) that resulted in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965. Young was with King in Memphis, when King was assassinated in 1968.

Young began his first of three terms as a U.S. Congressman in 1973. In 1977, he was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

From 1982 to 1989, Young served as the Mayor of Atlanta and played an instrumental role in bringing the 1996 Summer Olympic Games to the city.

As co-founding Principal and Chairman of GoodWorks International, he executes his life-long mission of energizing the private sector to advance economic development in Africa and the Caribbean by putting corporate executives in contact with leaders and key influences in the regions' emerging markets, facilitating the formation of successful business partnerships.

Young remains active in numerous charitable activities and organizations, including serving as National Spokesperson for Operation HOPE, a national non-profit self-help organization that seeks to bring economic self-sufficiency and a sustained spirit of revitalization to America's inner city communities.

Young is a distinguished executive fellow and honorary professor of public policy at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. He is the former president of the National Council of Churches.

He serves on the National Security Council Advisory Board and is on the Board of Directors of numerous businesses and organizations, as well as the advisory boards for the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change and The United Nations Foundation.

Young is the author of two books: "A Way Out of No Way" and "An Easy Burden." He is currently writing a memoir on Africa. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the French Legion of Honor and the Bishop Walker Humanitarian Award.


Media contact and writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, (812) 237-3783 or




Story Highlights

Three prominent authors and a former ambassador and civil rights figure will appear at Indiana State University as part of its University Speakers Series during the 2009-2010 academic year. A book signing and reception will follow each presentation. All events are free and open to the public.

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