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Author Maya Angelou coming to ECU event March 23

GREENVILLE, NC   (Feb. 23, 2007)   —   Noted American memorialist, poet and actress, Maya Angelou will be the keynote speaker for the first Women of Distinction gala on March 23 at the Rock Springs Center.
Sponsored by the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center and the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women at East Carolina University, the gala will honor women on ECU’s campus who have worked to further the causes of women’s empowerment, multiculturalism, equity and social justice. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m.

In 1981, Angelou was appointed to a lifetime position as the first Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University. She has authored 12 books, including “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and her most recent work, “A Song Flung Up to Heaven.”

In 1993, she became only the second poet in United States history to be asked by the president to write an original work at his inauguration. She read her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” for the inauguration of President Bill Clinton.

Khadine McNeill, interim director of the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center, said that Angelou was chosen to give the keynote address because she is the embodiment of the qualities they will honor during the gala.

“She is an icon. She works for social justice, is an eloquent speaker and an educator. We thought it was important to have a woman who is representative of those on campus to come and share her insights,” McNeill said.

Also at the event, the Linda Allred Profiles in Leadership Award will be announced. The award recognizes outstanding women whose leadership roles have made a significant impact on the ECU community. It honors Allred, who was a faculty member in the Department of Psychology and who died in December 2005.

Tickets for the gala are $50 per person or $25 an ECU student with identification and can be purchased at the central ticket office in Menhendall Student Center or by calling 328-4788.

Individuals with disabilities requesting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act should contact the Department for Disability Support Services at (252) 328-6799 (V) or (252) 328-0899 (TTY).


Contact: ECU News Bureau | 252-328-6481