Award-winning journalists highlight Foster Conference

February 23, 2009

University Park, Pa. — Two award-winning journalists will deliver free public lectures during the spring 2009 Foster Conference of Distinguished Writers at Penn State.

The lectures, which bring distinguished writers to the University Park campus to share their experiences with students, faculty and the public, are scheduled Tuesday, March 3, and Wednesday, March 4.

Connie Schultz will speak at 7 p.m. March 3, in the HUB-Robeson Center Auditorium. A nationally syndicated columnist for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, she won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for commentary for what the judges called her “pungent columns that provided a voice for the underdog and the underprivileged.”

In 2003, Schultz was a Pulitzer finalist for feature writing for her series, “The Burden of Innocence,” which chronicled the ordeal of a man imprisoned 13 years for a rape he did not commit. The week after her series ran, the real rapist turned himself in. Schultz suspended her columns in 2006 while she helped her husband, Sherrod Brown, campaign successfully for the U.S. Senate. Afterward she wrote a book titled “…and His Lovely Wife: A Memoir of the Woman Beside the Man.”

Michael Bamberger will speak at 10:10 a.m. March 4, in Heritage Hall of the HUB-Robeson Center. A senior writer for Sports Illustrated, Bamberger joined the magazine in 1995 after nine years as a sports reporter at The Philadelphia Inquirer. Bamberger’s lucid style is a hallmark of his work. So is his versatility -- he has written books on golf, a year in the life of a high school, and the films of director M. Night Shyamalan, and he has written a play in which former baseball commissioner Fay Vincent is a principal character.

In 1991, a year after covering the Phillies for The Inquirer, he took a leave of absence to search for the soul of golf by working as a caddy on the European tour. The experience led to his book, “To the Linksland: A Golfing Adventure.” Bamberger’s work has appeared in three editions of the annual anthology “The Best American Sportswriting.”

In 1997, Larry Foster, a 1948 Penn State graduate, and his wife, Ellen Miller Foster, a 1949 graduate, gave $500,000 to endow the Foster Professorship in Writing and Editing. The program was designed to support new strategies for improving students’ writing skills and enables the University to host the annual Foster Conference of Distinguished Writers.

In addition to the series, the couple endowed the Larry and Ellen Foster Communications Librarian and funded the Foster Auditorium, a tiered 134-seat facility in the Pattee Library designed to support library instruction and programming. They also provided the lead gift for renovations to the Carnegie Building, home of Penn State’s College of Communications.

  • Foster Conference speakers Connie Schultz (left) and Michael Bamberger

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated January 09, 2015