Back to:
Current year's news releases

All news releases
News and information home

Helen Thomas' April 29 talk will move to Zorn Arena

RELEASED: March 17, 2010

Helen Thomas
Helen Thomas

EAU CLAIRE — Literally due to popular demand, the April 29 Devroy Forum appearance of White House correspondent, columnist and author Helen Thomas will move to Zorn Arena, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's largest venue.

"Within a week of announcing Helen Thomas' talk here, we had more than enough online RSVPs to fill the 638-seat Schofield Auditorium, where we normally hold the Devroy Forum," said Mike Dorsher, a UW-Eau Claire associate professor of journalism and chair of the Devroy Committee. "We're happy we can move the event to Zorn Arena, so everyone from the campus and community who wants to see Helen Thomas can do so."

The free Devroy Forum, hosted by the UW-Eau Claire Foundation and department of communication and journalism, is open to the public.

No one will need a reservation or ticket to enter the event at Zorn Arena, which will start at 7 p.m. April 29. Those who previously printed out an online RSVP for the Devroy Forum can bring it to Zorn Arena on April 29 as a guarantee for a cushioned chair on the arena's floor. Additional seating will be available in the arena's first level of bleachers. Everyone will be able to see and hear the speakers well, because live video of their faces will be projected on large screens above them.

Interviewing Thomas on stage will be Mark Matthews, a former Baltimore Sun foreign correspondent, the author of a recent book on the Middle East and the widower of Ann Devroy.

A former Spectator student newspaper staffer and 1970 graduate of UW-Eau Claire, Devroy worked in the White House press corps alongside Helen Thomas, as a reporter for Gannett News Service and, later, The Washington Post. After Devroy died of cancer in 1997 at age 49, The Post established the annual journalism forum in her name, at her alma mater.

When Thomas arrives on campus the afternoon of April 29 she will attend a reception in the Communication and Journalism Center and host a short question-and-answer session with invited students, faculty and local journalists.

After her on-stage interview with Matthews in the evening, she will take questions from the public and then autograph copies of her books. Thomas' books will be at Zorn Arena for sale and already are available in the campus bookstore.

The longtime "dean" of White House reporters, Helen Thomas has covered every president from Kennedy to Obama and is the author of six books, including "Listen Up, Mr. President," which was published in October 2009. Thomas was a White House reporter for United Press International from 1961 to 2000 and has been a columnist for the Hearst News Service the past 10 years. She was the first woman to be elected an officer of the National Press Club, the White House Correspondents Association and the Gridiron Club. She was the only female reporter to accompany President Nixon on his 1972 breakthrough diplomatic mission to China, and for nearly 40 years she opened every presidential press conference with the first question and closed it with, "Thank you, Mr. President."

More information is available about Thomas, her extraordinary career and all of her books at her Web site. A complete history of the Ann Devroy Memorial Forum is available online.

This year's annual Devroy Forum will be the 13th, and Thomas joins a line of distinguished Devroy speakers that includes Bob Woodward and David Broder of The Washington Post and Andrea Mitchell of NBC News.

In another highlight of each year's forum, a top journalism student is awarded the Devroy Scholarship, which includes a January residency in Washington at The Post and a paid summer internship at one of Wisconsin's three largest newspapers.

-30-

MD/JB/DW

Back to:
Current year's news releases

All news releases
News and information home

 

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.