COLUMBUS, Miss. – The 2017 Welty Gala will feature best-selling author Jeffrey Toobin, CNN’s chief legal analyst and a staff writer for The New Yorker, Friday Oct. 20. 

His latest 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. Next year, CNN will present American Heiress: The Patty Hearst story in a six-part series based on Toobin’s book. 

He is the author of other critically acclaimed best sellers, including two devoted to the inner workings of the United States Supreme Court and its justices, “The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court” and “The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court.”

"The Welty Gala raises scholarships for deserving students," MUW President Jim Borsig said. "Also, it is an opportunity for the region to hear authors of current best sellers discuss their work."

The Welty Gala, sponsored by the MUW Foundation, is a part of the signature Welty Series held annually in October to honor the university’s world-renowned alumna Eudora Welty. As a part of the Welty Series, MUW also hosts the Eudora Welty Writers’ Symposium scheduled Oct. 19-21. This year’s Welty Gala will be held at 7 p.m. in the Trotter Convention Center in downtown Columbus.

“We’re excited about the Welty Gala being held at the Trotter Convention Center,” said Andrea Stevens, executive director of development and alumni, who explained that over the years the Gala has outgrown the space on campus.“Guests are sure to enjoy an evening of entertainment and fine food at this premier event.” 

Benefactor and Patron Gala tickets include a private reception catered by The W’s Culinary Arts Institute students with the guest speaker along with premium seating during a three-course meal. Guests with Friend tickets will enjoy a reception in the main lobby of the Trotter Convention Center with several of the authors who are participating in the Welty Symposium. A book signing and question and answer session will follow Toobin’s presentation.

Musical entertainment by the MUW Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Valentin Bogdan, assistant professor of music, will be a part of the festivities.

For additional information, please call the MUW Office of Development & Alumni at (662) 329-7148 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Tickets may be ordered online at

Oct. 12, 2017
Contact: Anika Mitchell Perkins
(662) 329-7124
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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