CBS' Byron Pitts to speak at upcoming Welty Gala

September 29, 2012 6:02:23 PM

Jan Swoope - [email protected]


The 2012 Welty Gala at Mississippi University for Women will welcome CBS News Chief National Correspondent Byron Pitts as the keynote speaker.  


The Friday, Oct. 19, dinner event begins at 7 p.m. in the Mary Ellen Weathersby Pope Banquet Room on the MUW campus. The Gala, an annual fundraiser for the Eudora Welty Chair in Humanities, is being held during the Oct. 18-20 Eudora Welty Writers' Symposium.  


Known for his thought-provoking coverage and his commitment to exceptional storytelling, Pitts is a multiple Emmy award-winning journalist. As chief national correspondent for "CBS Evening News With Katie Couric," he was an embedded reporter covering the Iraq War and was recognized for his work under fire.  


Pitts was also CBS' lead correspondent at Ground Zero immediately following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and won an Emmy for his coverage. 


A news veteran with more than 20 years experience, Pitts also covered the war in Afghanistan, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the military buildup in Kuwait and the refugee crisis in Kosovo, to name but a few. 


He realized a life-long goal when he was named a contributing correspondent to CBS' "60 Minutes" in 2009. 


His personal story is extraordinary. Raised by a single mother in a working class neighborhood in Baltimore, Pitts was illiterate until the age of 12 and had a persistent stutter. He eventually learned to read and went on to attend Ohio Wesleyan University and pursue his career in broadcast journalism. 


How to go 


Tickets to the Welty Gala are sold at different levels and offer opportunities for attendees to enjoy a private reception with the guest speaker along with premium seating during dinner.  


Levels include Friend, at $75 ($50 tax deductible), $500 Patron ($475 deductible), and Benefactor at $5,000 ($4,800 deductible), which includes a reserved table for eight and a private reception with Pitts in the MUW president's home, as well as program recognition and autographed books by the author.  


For more information about the Gala, call the MUW Office of Development at 662-329-7146 or email [email protected]  


Watch the Oct. 7 Dispatch Lifestyles Section for more about the Welty Writers' Symposium and its featured authors.

Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.