Celebrated author Jeannette Walls, best known for her best-selling memoir, “The Glass Castle,” will be the featured speaker for Mississippi University for Women’s 2024 Welty Gala at 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25, in the Trotter Convention Center in downtown Columbus.


“The Glass Castle” details her life growing up in extreme poverty and the tale of her emergence from it. Named by Amazon as one of the top 10 books of the decade, her inspiring story was brought to the big screen in one of the most highly-anticipated major motion pictures of 2017 starring Woody Harrelson, Naomi Watts and Brie Larson as Jeannette.

Nora Miller, W president, said, “I enjoy Jeannette Walls’ writing and I look forward to meeting her and hearing her discuss her journey through life. Come join us for a great time and know that you are contributing to scholarships for our deserving students.”

Her book, “Hang the Moon,” was published in 2023. Walls takes audiences inside her resilient journey in pursuit of authenticity, revealing the power of courage and determination in overcoming unimaginable obstacles. She reveals bittersweet anecdotes from her past that often exemplify grander truths about courage and the positive rewards that come from confronting challenges. With an unforgettable story of triumph over unrelenting adversity, Walls inspires the realization that we are all stronger than we think.

Walls also is the author of the best-selling books, “Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel” and “The Silver Star.”

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. 24-26.

Andrea Stevens, W executive director of development and alumni, added,“The Welty Gala is our annual fundraiser for the MUW Scholarship Fund. Proceeds from the event provide an opportunity for our deserving students to continue their education and pursue their dreams. The Gala is a wonderful opportunity for our alumni and friends to enjoy an elegant evening and to hear Jeanette Walls share her inspiring story.”

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 www.muw.edu/welty/gala.

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

About The W

Located in historic Columbus, Mississippi, The W was founded in 1884 as the first state-supported college for women in the United States. Today, the university is home to 2,227 students in more than 70 majors and concentrations and has educated men for 40 years. The university is nationally recognized for low student debt, diversity and social mobility which empowers students to BE BOLD.

Be Bold. Tower with Blue.