COLUMBUS, Miss. — Emmy award-winning actor Henry Winkler will be the featured speaker for Mississippi University for Women’s 2022 Welty Gala at 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 28, in the Trotter Convention Center in downtown Columbus.

Henry Winkler

Winkler has enjoyed more than four decades of success in Hollywood and continues to be in demand as an actor, producer and director. He currently co-stars as Gene Cousineau in the hit HBO dark comedy “Barry.”

Winkler has appeared in many television series and on the big screen. He has lent his voice to several shows and has appeared on Broadway. His work has received accolades, including an Emmy Award, two Daytime Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards and one Critics Choice Award.

A 1973 audition forever changed the life of the Yale School of Drama graduate when cast in the iconic role of Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli in “Happy Days.” For that role, he won two Golden Globe Awards, was nominated three times for an Emmy Award and was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Winkler is also a New York Times best-selling author. He and his co-author, Lin Oliver, have written more than 36 children’s novels published around the world in nine languages with more than five million copies sold.

Winkler believes in helping others and is especially passionate about children. He has served many organizations advocating for children. For his work, he has received a number of awards, including the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the French Ministry of Culture’s highest honor; an AARP Inspire Award; and he was named an Honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by the Queen of England in recognition of his services to children with special education needs.

Of all the titles he has received, Winkler relishes those of husband, father and grandfather most. Winkler and his wife have three children and six grandchildren. They reside in Los Angeles with their two dogs.

Nora Miller, W president, said, “I look forward to hearing about Henry Winkler’s writing and the work that he has done for children. The Welty Gala is always a special event.”

The Welty Gala is part of the signature Welty Series held annually in October to honor the university’s world-renowned alumna Eudora Welty. As part of the Welty Series, The W also hosts the Eudora Welty Writers’ Symposium set for Oct. 27-29.

Andrea Stevens, W executive director of development and alumni, added, “The Welty Gala raises funds to support scholarships for deserving W students and is an opportunity for our alumni and friends in the region to hear Mr. Winkler. It’s an elegant evening with a three-course meal, and proceeds help our students pursue their dreams.”

Gala sponsorships are available at different levels and offer opportunities for attendees to enjoy a private reception with the guest speaker along with premium seating during dinner. A book signing and question-and-answer session will follow the program.

Autographed books will be available for purchase. Black tie is optional.

Online registration is available at To support and attend the Welty Gala, please contact the Office of Development and Alumni at (662) 329-7148.

July 11, 2022
Contact: Tyler Wheat
(662) 241-7683

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