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Jeffrey Toobin, senior analyst for CNN and staff writer for The New Yorker, and multiple Emmy Award-winner Byron Pitts, co-anchor of ABC's 'Nightline,' both will speak at MCLA this fall.

CNN's Toobin, ABC's Pitts Among MCLA's Fall Speakers

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' fall speakers this year will include Jeffrey Toobin, senior analyst for CNN and staff writer for The New Yorker, and multiple Emmy Award-winner Byron Pitts, co-anchor of ABC's "Nightline."
MCLA's annual fall lectures are free and open to the public.

Toobin, a political expert who also has expertise on the media and the law, frequently is featured on CNN. He will be the featured presenter at the seventh annual Michael S. and Kitty Dukakis Public Policy Lecture, which is made possible through the generosity of the Ruth Proud Charitable Trust. He will present "Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court" at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16, in the MCLA Church Street Center's Eleanor Furst Roberts Auditorium.

The author of critically acclaimed best sellers, Toobin delved into the historical, political and personal inner workings of the Supreme Court and its justices in his books, “The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court” and “The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court.”

On Wednesday, Oct. 18, Pitts will deliver MCLA's Hardman Lecture, at 7 p.m. in the MCLA Church Street Center’s Eleanor Furst Roberts Auditorium. This lecture event, "Mass Media and Democratic Governance: The American Experience," is made possible through the generosity of the Hardman Family Endowment. A book signing will follow Pitts' lecture.

Pitts, an anchor and the chief national correspondent at ABC, previously was the chief national correspondent for CBS’s “Evening News with Katie Couric.” He was also the lead correspondent for CBS at Ground Zero immediately following the Sept. 11 attacks, and won an Emmy for his coverage.

A news veteran with more than 20 years of experience, Pitts also covered the war in Afghanistan, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the military buildup in Kuwait, and the refugee crisis in Kosovo, among other news. He realized a life-long goal when he was named as a contributing correspondent to CBS’s “60 Minutes” in 2009.

Other fall lecture series speakers will include award-winning author Jana Laiz, who will discuss her book, "Weeping Under This Same Moon," at the First Year Experience (FYE) Community Reading event, to be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 5, in the MCLA Church Street Center's Eleanor Furst Roberts Auditorium. Seating will be limited. After the lecture, Laiz will sign copies of her book.

"Weeping under This Same Moon" explores the true story of what happens when two young women from very different cultures connect across difference. Written from the perspectives of both Mei, a Vietnamese refugee, and Hannah, an American high school student, this year's community reading addresses themes central to our liberal arts mission and broader democracy.

Laiz lives in the Berkshires and is a writer-in-residence at Herman Melville's Berkshire home, Arrowhead.

In addition, Joanna Ballantine, vice president of Trustees of Reservations for the western region, will present the Elizabeth and Lawrence Vadnais Environmental Issues Lecture on Thursday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. in Murdock Hall, in the Sammer Dennis Room (218). She will speak on "A Century of Preserving Nature and Culture for Future Generations; What's Next?"

Ballantine’s role is to oversee the stewardship, business and enterprise performance, engagement and visitor services and field operations for Western Massachusetts. This region includes 50 iconic and scenic properties, from mountains to farms to public gardens including collections and historic houses. She also serves as the internal and external leader for The Trustees’ throughout the Berkshires, Pioneer Valley, Central Massachusetts, Charles River Valley and Andover regions of Massachusetts. These properties serve thousands of visitors and generate significant revenue that helps support the overall mission of The Trustees.


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