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Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Leonard Pitts to speak at College of Law tonight

Loyola press release - March 1, 2010

Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald columnist and 2004 recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Commentary, will be the distinguished speaker at Loyola University New Orleans’ 2010 Gillis Long Poverty Law Center Award Ceremony. The annual award ceremony honors Loyola University New Orleans students, faculty, staff and alumni who have made outstanding contributions in the area of public service.

The event takes place tonight, Monday, March 15, at 6:30 p.m., in the Frederick J. Gisevius Jr. Lecture Theater, College of Law, Room 405. It is free and open to the public.

Originally a music critic at the Miami Herald, Pitts received his own column in 1994 after only a few years offering candid opinions on race, culture, families, relationships and politics. The National Society of Newspaper Columnists named him Columnist of the Year in 2002. He has also received awards for his exemplary commentary from the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Today, Pitts’ column appears in approximately 150 newspapers.

Pitts gained critical recognition and acclaim for his column, "We'll Go Forward From This Moment," printed the day following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Pitts published his first novel, “Before I Forget,” last year. He is also the author of “Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood” and “Forward From this Moment: Selected Columns, 1994-2008.” Books by Pitts will be available for purchase at the event.

Prior to the lecture, the Poverty Law Center will present public service awards to members of Loyola’s faculty, staff, students and alumni for their outstanding service to the community. The 2010 recipients are College of Law alumnus, Frank Jurovich, J.D. ’07; law students, Steven Aronson, Anna Levin and Peter Morris; associate clinical professor of law, Cheryl Prestenback Buchert; assistant clinical professor in the Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice, Davida Finger; and professor of law and director of the Law Clinic and the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center, William Quigley.

For more information, contact Barbara Wilson at 504-861-5762 or bjwilso1@loyno.edu.

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