Molly Ivins Gives Atkinson Lecture

Irreverent, outspoken, hilarious, biting and brilliant are all words used to describe nationally syndicated columnist Molly Ivins. A thorn in the side of imposters and bureaucrats, Ivins has earned a reputation for poking fun at sacred cows and politicians who underestimate the intelligence of their constituents.

Ivins kicks off the 2002-03 Atkinson Lecture series in Smith Auditorium at Willamette University on Tuesday, Oct. 29, at 8 p.m. Tickets will be available to the campus community at the Information Desk at the University Center beginning Oct. 15. For students, faculty and staff, the first ticket is free and additional tickets are $10 each with a limit of three tickets per person. Tickets will become available to the general public for $10 beginning Oct. 24.

Ivins, a best-selling author and widely syndicated political columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, says politics, particularly in Texas, is great entertainment -- "better than the zoo, better than the circus, rougher than football, and even more aesthetically satisfying than baseball."

The speaker has written four popular books-- Molly Ivins Can't Say That Can She?; Nothin But Good Times Ahead; You Got to Dance with Them What Brung You: Politics in the Clinton Years; and Shrub, which details George W. Bush's road to the White House.

Ivins is the former co-editor of the liberal monthly Texas Observer and former Rocky Mountain bureau chief for the New York Times. She has also worked for the Houston Chronicle, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and the Dallas Times Herald. Her column now appears in 113 newspapers besides the Star-Telegram.

Her freelance work has appeared in Esquire, Atlantic, The Nation, Harper's, the Progressive, Mother Jones, TV Guide and numerous other publications. She is a frequent guest on network radio and television shows.

Ivins has a B.A. from Smith College, a master's in journalism from Columbia University and studied for a year at the Institute of Political Science in Paris.

She served for three years on the board of the National News Council, is active in the Amnesty International's Journalism Network and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. She writes about press issues for the American Civil Liberties Union and several journalism reviews.

She has been a Pulitzer Prize finalist three times, and has won numerous journalism awards, including a 1992 Headliner's Award for best Texas column. She was named Outstanding Alumna by Columbia University's School of Journalism in 1976, and was a member of the 1992 Pulitzer Prize jury.

Ivins says her two greatest honors as a journalist came when the Minneapolis police force named its mascot pig after her and when she was banned from the campus of Texas A&M.

Ivins opens the two-part Atkinson Lecture series, which concludes in April with Archbishop Desmond Tutu.