Pulitzer winner announced as next Convocation Speaker

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After many years of trying very hard to book him, Missouri Western State University is excited to announce Thomas L. Friedman as their Convocation speaker for 2011.

Friedman graduated from Brandeis University in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in Mediterranean studies. Friedman then went on to get his masters degree at Oxford University in philosophy of modern Middle East.

Friedman has won a total of three Pulitzer Prizes. His first one came in 1983 for international reporting in Lebanon. His second came in 1988 for international reporting in Israel. Friedman’s third Pulitzer Prize came in 2002 for his renowned commentary.

Thomas L. Friedman is now a colunmist for the New York Times.

Friedman has spent several years of his life traveling and reporting news stories. From Berlin to Lebanon, to various other countries, Friedman has reported in many places on many subjects. In less than a four-year period, Friedman said he traveled more than 500,000 miles.

“I am a big believer in saying ‘If you don’t go, you don’t know,’” Friedman said on his website. “Journalism involves a lot of luck—being in the right place at the right time and then taking advantage of it.”

In 2004, Friedman also received the Overseas Press Club Award. Friedman was also given the National Press Club in 2009. Both awards were given for his lifetime achievements in journalism reporting.

President Dr. Robert A. Vartabedian is pleased to have Friedman speaking at the 2011 convocation.

“This continues an 18-year tradition of bringing extraordinary speakers to out university community,” Vartabedian said in news release. ‘’Colleagues at other universities where Mr. Friedman has spoken have been glowing in their reviews.”

Dan Nicoson, vice president for university advancement, is glad to have Friedman as a convocation speaker, especially after so many years of trying to get him.

‘’We’ve tried to book Mr. Friedman for the last three years, but it hasn’t worked out until now. He brings a scholarly approach to his subject, which will be appropriate for our Convocation,’’ Nicoson said in a news release.

Thomas L. Friedman will be speaking at Western on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011, at 9:30 a.m. in the Looney Arena. There will also be a Convocation dinner on Monday Sept. 19. Details for the dinner have not yet been released. The Convocation is free and open to the public.

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