West Virginia University at Parkersburg
300 Campus Drive Parkersburg WV 26104
Phone: 304-424-8203 | Fax: 304-424-8315
Author Jeannette Walls to address WVU Parkersburg graduates at December Commencement to be held Dec. 14, 2007.
CONTACT: Cecelia Malhotra, registrar, 304-424-8220.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The best-selling author of the critically-acclaimed memoir "The Glass Castle" is West Virginia University at Parkersburg’s December Commencement speaker.
Former WV resident Jeannette Walls will address the graduates at the ceremony to be held at 7 p.m., Friday, (Dec. 14), in the College Activities Center.
Approximately 240 WVU Parkersburg students are candidates for graduation. Close to 100 are expected to take part in the ceremonies. They represent August and December graduates.
Walls’ harrowing and sometimes hilarious chronicle of her childhood has been a New York Times' best seller for nearly 100 weeks. Critics have described the memoir as "spectacular," "extraordinary," "incredible" and "riveting."
Her stirring account of her early life describes growing up in southwest desert towns and in the WV mining community of Welch with her three siblings and non-conformist, nomadic parents.
At the age of 16, she overcomes her hardships and decides to leave West Virginia. She moves to New York City, graduates with honors from Barnard College and eventually becomes a well-known columnist for New York magazine and MSNBC.com as well as a television personality.
The book has sold more than 1.5 million copies, been translated into 16 languages, and is being made into a movie by Paramount. Its numerous awards include the Christopher Award and the American Library Association’s Alex Award.
Walls lives in Virginia with her husband, author John Taylor. She has appeared on "Prime Time Live," "Good Morning America," "Larry King Live," and "Oprah." Currently, she is writing her next non-fiction book.
WVU Parkersburg's graduating class will be presented by Rhonda Richards, executive dean of academic affairs. Serving as grand marshal will be Gary Waggoner, chair of the Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division. Faculty members Gregg Busch and Cindy Gissy will assist as marshals. WVU Parkersburg President Marie Foster Gnage will confer the certificates and associate and bachelor degrees to the graduates.
A reception for the graduates and their families will follow in the cafeteria concourse.