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Columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. to speak at May 4 Devroy Forum

RELEASED: April 11, 2011

E.J. Dionne Jr.
E.J. Dionne Jr.

EAU CLAIRE — E.J. Dionne Jr., a syndicated columnist with The Washington Post, will be the featured speaker at the 2011 Ann Devroy Memorial Forum at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Dionne's presentation will begin at 8 p.m. May 4 in Schofield Auditorium.

Before joining The Post in 1990 as a political reporter, Dionne spent 14 years at The New York Times, reporting on state and local governments and national politics. He also worked as a foreign correspondent, spending time in Paris, Rome and Beirut.

Dionne is also a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a professor at Georgetown University. He makes regular appearances as a commentator for National Public Radio, ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" and NBC's "Meet the Press."

In addition, Dionne has received critical acclaim for his books, including "Stand Up, Fight Back: Republican Toughs, Democratic Wimps, and the Politics of Revenge," "They Only Look Dead: Why Progressives Will Dominate The Next Political Era" and "Why Americans Hate Politics." His most recent book, "Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith & Politics After the Religious Right," was praised as "deeply personal and searchingly intelligent" by The New York Times Book Review.

Jan Larson, associate professor of journalism at UW-Eau Claire, said that the department is thankful that reporters and columnists from The Post have been interested in traveling to UW-Eau Claire to share stories about their careers and about Ann Devroy.

"We were thrilled when his name was offered as somebody who would be willing," Larson said of Dionne.

Dr. Mary Hoffman, chair of the communication and journalism department, thinks the forum is an important part of UW-Eau Claire, as it brings well-known journalists to the campus and community.

"It's an example of smart, thoughtful journalism that helps us make decisions," she said.

The Ann Devroy Memorial Forum and the Devroy Memorial Fund were established to recognize the outstanding journalistic work of 1970 UW-Eau Claire alumna Ann Devroy, who died of cancer in 1997 at the age of 49.

Devroy began her journalism career as a student at UW-Eau Claire, interning at the Milwaukee Journal, reporting for The Spectator and the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram. After graduating, she worked for the Bridgewater, N.J., daily The Courier-News, which was owned by the Gannet Co. In 1977, she moved to Gannett News Service's Washington bureau. She covered Congress for two years before becoming the White House correspondent for Gannett and USA Today. She joined The Washington Post in 1985, and covered the White House from 1989 until her death in 1997.

The Devroy Fund awards a scholarship and helps defray the cost of a three-week residency at The Washington Post for Devroy Fellows. Fellows also have paid internships at Wisconsin daily newspapers. The Devroy Fellow is announced during the Forum presentation.

"The fellowship is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to really explore the possibilities available in journalism," Hoffman said.

The Ann Devroy Memorial Forum is sponsored by The Washington Post Co., UW-Eau Claire's department of communication and journalism, the UW-Eau Claire Foundation, Wisconsin Newspaper Association and the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram.

The event is free and open to the public. People with special needs should call 715-836-2787 for assistance. For more information about the Devroy Fund or Forum, contact Dr. Mary Hoffman at 715-836-4431 or hoffmamf@uwec.edu.

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BS/RD/DW

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