Lecture Programs

Foster-Foreman Conference of Distinguished Writers

Logo for Foster-Foreman ConferenceThe annual Foster-Foreman Conference of Distinguished Writers regularly attracts some of the best writers in the country to campus for free public lectures and to work in hands-on and small-group sessions with students in the College of Communications.

Since its inception in 1999, the conference has attracted 41 Pulitzer Prize winners. Ten Penn State graduates have been speakers in the series.

The conference is named in honor of Penn State alumni Larry and Ellen Foster, who created the endowment for the professorship and program, and Gene Foreman, the retired Foster Professor of Communications who continues to coordinate the series that was started under his direction.

Upcoming

October 18

Foster-Foreman Conference of Distinguished Writers

Wesley Lowery

Time: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Location: Schwab Auditorium

Free public lecture featuring Pulitzer Prize-winner Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post.

October 19

Foster-Foreman Conference of Distinguished Writers

Lisa Falkenberg

Time: 10:35 am – 11:40 am

Location: Freeman Auditorium, HUB-Robeson Center

Free public lecture featuring Pulitzer Prize-winner Lisa Falkenberg of the Houston Chronicle.

Previous Lectures

Foster-Foreman Conference of Distinguished Writers

October 07, 2014

Foster-Foreman Conference of Distinguished Writers

John Branch

John Branch of The New York Times will present a free public lecture and participate in a question-and-answer session as part of the Conference. He will be the 40th Pulitzer Prize winner to participate in the event since its inception in 1999.

Foster-Foreman Conference of Distinguished Writers

October 08, 2014

Foster-Foreman Conference of Distinguished Writers

Michael Sokolove

Freelance writer and author Michael Sokolove ("Drama High") will present a free public lecture and participate in a question-and-answer session.

March 24, 2015

Foster-Foreman Conference of Distinguished Writers

Caitlin Flanagan

Caitlin Flanagan, the author of "Girl Land" (2012) and "To Hell With All That" (2006), and a writer for The Atlantic magazine, will be the featured guest for the opening session of the Foster-Foreman Conference of Distinguished Writers. During the sessions, visitors read excepts from their work and participate in a question-and-answer segment. The event is free and open to the public.

March 25, 2015

Foster-Foreman Conference of Distinguished Writers

Kimberly Dozier

Kimberly Dozier, author of "Breathing the Fire" (2011), a former combat correspondent in Iraq for CBS and currently the General Omar N. Bradley Professor in the Army War College and visiting professor in Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law and School of International Affairs will be the featured guest for the closing session of the Foster-Foreman Conference of Distinguished Writers. During the sessions, visitors read excepts from their work and participate in a question-and-answer segment. The event is free and open to the public. 

October 28, 2015

Foster-Foreman Conference of Distinguished Writers

Carol Leonnig

Carol Leonnig of The Washington Post, who won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for her stories about Secret Service lapses in presidential security, will be featured in the Foster-Foreman Conference of Distinguished Writers. Her presentation is free and open to the public.

October 19, 2016

Foster-Foreman Conference of Distinguished Writers

Kevin Merida

Free public session with Kevin Merida, editor of The Undefeated, ESPN's website reporting on issues of sports and race. Merida previously served as managing editor of The Washington Post. He had worked at the Post since 1993 and a series he edited became the book "Being a Black Man: At the Corner of Progress and Peril." He also coauthored a biography of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

October 20, 2016

Foster-Foreman Conference of Distinguished Writers

Elisabeth Rosenthal

Free public lecture featuring Elisabeth Rosenthal, editor-in-chief of Kaiser Health News. She previously worked 22 years for The New York Times covering medical issues and authoring an acclaimed crowd-sourced series about the high costs of medical care in the United States.

* Winners of the Pulitzer Prize
# Penn State graduates

Spring 2014

  • *Dan Gilbert
  • #Samanth Subramanian

Fall 2013

  • *Dean Baquet
  • Beth Macy

Spring 2013

  • *David Finkel
  • Inga Saffron

Fall 2012

  • *#Sara Ganim
  • David Greene

Spring 2012

  • *George Dohrmann
  • *Joby Warrick

Fall 2011

  • *Isabel Wilkerson
  • *Paige St. John

Spring 2011

  • #Ben Feller
  • *Barbara Laker
  • *Wendy Ruderman

Fall 2010

  • *Ken Armstrong
  • *Diana K. Sugg

Spring 2010

  • John Grogan
  • Jayson Stark

Fall 2009

  • *Sonia Nazario
  • *Mark Feeney

Spring 2009

  • *Connie Schultz
  • Michael Bamberger

Fall 2008

  • *Amy Goldstein
  • *Bill Raspberry

Spring 2008

  • *Dana Priest
  • Jim Wooten

Fall 2007

  • *Jerry Kammer
  • Diana Henriques

Spring 2007

  • *Sydney Schanberg
  • *Karen DeYoung

Fall 2006

  • Juan Williams
  • Jennifer Hunter

Spring 2006

  • #Tom Verducci
  • Steve Lopez

Fall 2005

  • *Anne Hull
  • *Buzz Bissinger

Spring 2005

  • *David Zucchino
  • *Bill Marimow

Fall 2004

  • *Walter Mears
  • *Cynthia Tucker

Spring 2004

  • *David Shribman
  • Ken Fuson

Fall 2003

  • #Rod Nordland
  • Bill Lyon

Spring 2003

  • *Steve Twomey
  • Alicia Shepard

Fall 2002

  • *David Halberstam
  • *Paul Greenberg

Spring 2002

  • *Leonard Pitts Jr.
  • Claire Smith
  • #Lori Shontz

Fall 2001

  • *Richard Ben Cramer
  • *David Maraniss

Spring 2001

  • *Michael Gartner
  • Wil Haygood
  • #Ann Gerhart

Fall 2000

  • *Anna Quindlen
  • Mark Bowden
  • #Jerry Schwartz

Spring 2000

  • *Ron Suskind
  • *Madeleine Blais
  • #Paul Hendrickson

Fall 1999

  • James McBride
  • *Michael Vitez
  • #Alecia Swasy