Welty Gala

About the Gala

On Friday, October 20, at 7:00 p.m., The W family, including students from the Ina E. Gordy Honors College, alumni, and community members, are invited to join us for an elegant evening in Columbus. The Welty Gala begins with a cocktail reception with this year's Welty Symposium authors followed by dinner and a presentation by best-selling author, CNN senior analyst, and staff writer for The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin.

The Welty Gala is our annual fundraiser for the MUW Scholarship Fund providing general scholarships. To ensure the success of this event, The W is seeking supporters who will participate as Benefactors, Patrons, and Friends. The Welty Gala is a tremendous asset for The W and the local community. We are especially grateful and appreciative of your support for this event and the opportunity it provides our Honors College students to further their academic experience beyond the classroom.

About the Speaker

Jeffrey Toobin

Stack of books written by Jeffrey Toobin

A high-profile senior analyst for CNN and staff writer for The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin is one of the country’s most esteemed experts on politics, media and the law. With unparalleled journalistic skill, Toobin has provided analysis on some of the most provocative and important events of our time. 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.

Toobin’s latest best-selling book, American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst, was released to considerable acclaim in August 2016. The book examines the 1974 kidnapping of Patty Hearst, granddaughter of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, by the Symbionese Liberation Army. The astonishing, theatrical details of the saga are firmly bound to a tangible reality, aided by more than a hundred interviews and thousands of previously secret documents. Toobin allows readers to peek into the past, right into one of the most insane eras of American history. The book has been optioned for film by Fox 2000. His book, The Run of His Life: The People vs. O. J. Simpson, was the basis for the acclaimed mini-series on FX, starring Cuba Gooding, Jr., John Travolta and Sarah Paulson.

Toobin is also the author of renowned best-seller Too Close to Call: The 36-Day Battle to Decide the 2000 Election, the definitive story of the Bush-Gore presidential recount and the basis for an HBO movie. With clarity, insight, humor, and a deep understanding of the law, Toobin deconsturcts the events, the players, and the often-Byzantine intricacies of our judicial system, ending up with a remarkable account of one of the most significant periods in our nation’s history.

Toobin received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

After a six-year tenure at ABC News, where he covered the country’s highest-profile cases and received a 2000 Emmy Award for his coverage of the Elian Gonzales custody saga, Toobin joined CNN as a legal analyst in 2002 where he now serves as the senior legal analyst. Also a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1993, he has written articles on such subjects as the Bernie Madoff scandal, the case of Roman Polanski, and profiels of Justices Clarence Thomas, Steve Breyer, John Paul Stevens, and Chief Justice John Roberts. His article “An Incendiary Defense” for the magazine broke the news that the O.J. Simpson defense team planned to accuse Mark Fuhrman of planting evidence and play “the race card.”

Prior to joining The New Yorker, Toobin served as an Assitant United States Attorney in Brooklyn, New York. He also served as an associate counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh, an experience that provided the basis for his book, Opening Arguments: A Lawyer’s First Case: United States v. Oliver North. His other books also take a behind the scenes look at the legal system. A Vast Conspiracy explored the investigation and impeachment of Bill Clinton, and The Run of His Life closely examined the working of the criminal justice system in the O.J. Simpson trial.

Toobin lives in New York City with his wife and two children.






October 20, 2017
7:00 p.m.
Trotter Convention Center
402 2nd Avenue North
Columbus, MS, 39701

Black Tie Optional


4:00 p.m. - Student Discussion / Informal Q&A (Location TBA)
5:30 p.m. - Private Reception for Benefactors and Patrons
6:00 p.m. - Cocktail Reception with Welty Symposium Authors in Main Lobby (Trotter Convention Center)
7:00 p.m. - Dinner in Ballroom (Trotter Convention Center)
8:15 p.m. - Jeffrey Toobin's Presentation
9:00 p.m. - Book Signing


Donor Levels


$5,000 ($4,760 tax deductible)
Eight seats at a named table including preferential dinner service
Prominent program recognition
Eight invitations to the private reception with Mr. Toobin
Four autographed books
One quarter-page advertisement in the spring issue of our alumni magazine VISIONS
Either a 20 meal ticket to the MUW Hogarth Dining Facility
OR a 20 session pass to the MUW Stark Recreation Center

Purchase Tickets



$500 ($470 tax deductible)
Dinner seating for one
Invitation to the private reception with Mr. Toobin
An autographed book
Program recognition

Purchase Tickets



$100 ($70 tax deductible)
Dinner seating for one
Invitation to attend the reception in the Trotter Main Lobby prior to Gala

Purchase Tickets



For Additional Information

Office of Development and Alumni
(662) 329-7148
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