An Education in Georgia: Then and Now, kick off event for the campus-wide read of An Education in Georgia: Charlayne Hunter, Hamilton Holmes, and the Integration of the University of Georgia

To kick off the campus-wide reading event to celebrate the 60th anniversary of desegregation at the University of Georgia, UGA alumna Charlayne Hunter-Gault will participate in a conversation with longtime New Yorker columnist and author Calvin Trillin to discuss his book An Education in Georgia: Charlayne Hunter, Hamilton Holmes, and the Integration of the University of Georgia (UGA Press). The conversation will be moderated by Valerie Boyd, Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer in Residence, Associate Professor, Journalism, Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, UGA.

Register for this Zoom event here. 

Throughout the month of February, the Press will share supplemental materials including discussion questions, interviews, news articles drawn from the New Georgia Encyclopedia, and other prompts via social media. We will announce book giveaways in January as well as provide a discount code to students, faculty, staff, and community members who register for the event.

Charlayne Hunter-Gault is a Peabody and Emmy award-winning journalist with more than 50 years in the media industry, extending her work at various times to all media including The New Yorker, NBC, The New York Times, PBS, NPR and CNN. She is also the author of four books, including In My Place, an autobiography and To The Mountaintop: My Journey Through the Civil Rights Movement. She continues with the PBS NEWSHOUR with a special series called Race Matters, looking at solutions to racism and is a highly sought after lecturer and moderator.

Calvin Trillin has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1963. As the Nation’s “Deadline Poet,” he writes weekly verse on the news of the day. In addition to his books of reportage, he has published memoirs, comic novels, and books of verse. His books include Remembering Denny, Obliviously On He Sails: The Bush Administration in Rhyme, Tepper Isn’t Going Out, About Alice, Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin, Jackson, 1964, and No Fair! No Fair! (with Roz Chast.)

Boyd recognized with a Governor’s Award for the Arts and Humanities

Boyd is congratulated by Karen Paty of the Georgia Council for the Arts
Boyd is congratulated by Karen Paty of the Georgia Council for the Arts

Valerie Boyd, the Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer in Residence and an associate professor of journalism, received a Governor’s Award for the Arts and Humanities from Governor Nathan Deal and First Lady Sandra Deal.

The sixth annual awards were presented in a ceremony at the Georgia State Capitol on Oct. 4, 2017. The awards are a partnership with the Georgia Council for the Arts and Georgia Humanities.

“The First Lady and I are longtime supporters of the arts, humanities and expressions of creativity,” Deal said. “These awards recognize outstanding individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to Georgia’s economic, civic and cultural vitality. Our state’s creative industries provide some 200,000 jobs for Georgians and generate $62.5 billion in economic impact. I congratulate the individuals and institutions being honored today and am grateful for their contributions to communities throughout Georgia.”

Boyd’s nomination biography said that “her passion for story inspired emerging writers to find their voice and develop their craft,” and “she animates the writing life, rousing her students’ creativity and zeal for truth by her own example.”

Boyd was introduced at the ceremony by friend and former student Monica Pearson (MA ’14). Pearson spoke of Boyd as a “history maker in the state and around the world” through writing books including “Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurton,” and her upcoming book, “”Gathering Blossoms Under Fire,” a curation of the journals of Alice Walker.

When “Wrapped in Rainbows” was released, the Georgia Center for the Book included it in a list of “25 books that all Georgians should read.”

In addition to her writing, Boyd was celebrated for her contributions to educating future writers, including her role as co-director of the Master of Fine Arts Program in Narrative Media Writing.

Boyd was one of 12 individuals and organizations recognized for their contributions to the Georgia arts.
Boyd was one of 12 individuals and organizations recognized for their contributions to the Georgia arts. Photo: Andrea Briscoe

Pearson said, “Valerie at her core is a…storyteller, who teaches how to fine-tune a phrase to make it memorable, mold a concept to make it understandable and prod a writer to the deeper research and interviews to see things through the eyes of those who are written about and those affected by what will be written.”

Pearson also cited a nomination letter written by Alice Walker to Governor Deal.

“Talking with her is akin to standing before a mirror,” Walker said in her nomination letter, “but, one that shows not only yourself, but all the surrounding possibilities as she dives straight for the heart of the image and view.”

Prior to teaching, Boyd spent nearly 20 years writing for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, including time as the arts editor.

In addition to Boyd, the following individuals and organizations were recognized with Arts and Humanities Awards: Karen Berman, William Eiland (director of the Georgia Museum of Art), Gilmer Arts and Heritage Association, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Art Program, Virginia Hepner, Kenny Leon, The Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts, Pearl McHaney, National Infantry Museum Foundation, Janisse Ray and Lois Reitzes.

Detailed information about the recipients is available at

Pictures of the event can be viewed on Grady College’s Flickr album.

A video of the presentation can be viewed here: