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    Some of the members of the Wienberg Memorial Library’s 2022 Distinguished Author Committee met recently to plan the Nov. 18 dinner at The University of Scranton to honor Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, novelist and screenwriter Ayad Akhta. Pictured, from left, are: Diana Collins, Title IX coordinator, Office of Equity and Diversity at the University; Gretchen Welby Pharm.D., chair of the 2022 Distinguished Author Committee; Jennifer Pennington, administrative assistant, Office of Equity and Diversity; Kym Fetsko, administrative assistant, Weinberg Memorial Library; and George Aulisio, dean, Weinberg Memorial Library. Appearing via zoom are (top row) Narda Tafuri, Phyllis Reinhardt, and (second row) Marian Farrell.

    Distinguished Author Award Dinner Planned

    Some of the members of the Wienberg Memorial Library’s 2022 Distinguished Author Committee met recently to plan the Nov. 18 dinner at The University of Scranton to honor Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, novelist and screenwriter Ayad Akhta. Pictured, from left, are: Diana Collins, Title IX coordinator, Office of Equity and Diversity at the University; Gretchen Welby Pharm.D., chair of the 2022 Distinguished Author Committee; Jennifer Pennington, administrative assistant, Office of Equity and Diversity; Kym Fetsko, administrative assistant, Weinberg Memorial Library; and George Aulisio, dean, Weinberg Memorial Library. Appearing via zoom are (top row) Narda Tafuri, Phyllis Reinhardt, and (second row) Marian Farrell.
    October 31, 2022

    Members of the Wienberg Memorial Library’s 2022 Distinguished Author Committee are planning a Nov. 18 dinner to honor Pulitzer Prize-winning and Tony Award-nominated playwright, novelist and screenwriter Ayad Akhta. At the event, which will be held in McIlhenny Ballroom of the DeNaples Center at The University of Scranton, Akhta will receive the 2022 Royden B. Davis, S.J., Distinguished Author Award from the Friends of the Weinberg Memorial Library. Proceeds from the event benefit the Friends of the Library Endowment Fund, which supports special gifts for the Weinberg Library collections and services.

    Gretchen Welby, Pharm.D., is chair of the 2022 Distinguished Author Committee, whose members include George J. Aulisio, dean of the Weinberg Memorial Library and Marian Farrell, Ph.D., president of Friends of the Weinberg Library and professor of nursing at the University.

    Current and retired University employees, as well as members of the greater Scranton area community make up the rest of the committee. Other committee members are: Geri Botyrius, Diana Collins, Deputy Title IX and Equal Employment Opportunity coordinator/investigator, Office of Equity and Diversity; Roy Domenico, Ph.D., professor and chair of the History Department; Donald Drasba, manager of the University bookstore; Kym Fetsko, administrative assistant for the library; Erika Funke, WVIA; Annettte Kalwaytis; John McInerney, Ph.D., professor emeritus, Department of English and theatre; Lisa Mekilo, course materials manager for Follett; Sondra Myers, director of the Schemel Forum; Jennifer Pennington, administrative assistant for the Office of Equity and Diversity and enrollment management; Adam Pratt, Ph.D., associate professor of history; Sheli Pratt-McHugh, associate professor and chair of Weinberg Memorial Library; Phyllis Reinhardt; Rosemary Shaver, Ed.D.; Kara Stone, Ph.D.; Bonnie Strohl; and Narda Tafuri, professor emeritus, library.

    Akhtar was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2013 for his play “Disgraced,” which also received a Tony Award nomination. The play examines the role of religion, politics and identity in post-9/11 America. His play “Junk,” about junk bonds and Wall Street culture of the 1980s, won the 2018 Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History. His work has been published and performed in over two dozen languages.

    Named in honor of the late Rev. Royden B. Davis, S.J., who served in many roles at the University and as rector of the Jesuit Community, the Distinguished Author Award was established in 1997. The Friends of the Weinberg Memorial Library envisioned the series as a way to honor notable fiction and non-fiction authors, and to give them the opportunity to share their literary pursuits and impressions with Northeastern Pennsylvanians. Past recipients of the award have included best-selling authors Madeline Miller, Lorene Cary, Colum McCann, Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Jay Parini, Steve Berry, William Berhardt, Mary Gordon, Phillip Margolin, James Grippando, Linda Fairstein, Lisa Scottoline, Mary Higgins Clark, Carol Higgins Clark, Malachy McCourt, Jack Palance and Scranton native Stephen Karam.

    Prior to the reception, a book signing with the author will take place from 5 to 6 p.m. on the 2nd floor of the DeNaples Center. The book signing is free of charge and open to the public. A selection of Akhtar’s books will be available for sale at the event.

    For more information and to purchase tickets for the Distinguished Author Award reception and dinner, visit scranton.edu/authaward or contact Kym Fetsko at 570-941-7816 or kym.fetsko@scranton.edu.

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