Welty Gala

2021 Welty Gala

About the Gala

On Friday, October 22, at 7:00 p.m., students from the Ina E. Gordy Honors College, alumni and community members are invited to join us for an elegant evening in downtown Columbus. The Welty Gala begins with a Friends reception with this year’s Welty Symposium authors followed by dinner and presentation by Emmy Award-winning Journalist Elizabeth Vargas.

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


About the Speaker

Elizabeth Vargas

Emmy Award-winning journalist Elizabeth Vargas has traveled the world covering breaking news stories, reporting on in-depth investigations and conducting news-making interviews. She is the host of America’s Most Wanted on Fox TV. She hosted the hit newsmagazine show 20/20 on ABC for 15 years, was co-anchor of World News Tonight, and was news anchor and frequent host of Good Morning America. She hosted A&E Investigates, doing a series of documentaries that still air on Hulu.

During the historic Iraqi elections in December 2005, she reported extensively for World News Tonight from Baghdad on both civilian life in Iraq and American military involvement there. She has interviewed leaders from around the world, including President Bush from the Oval Office in the White House. Vargas has also anchored ABC News coverage of live, breaking stories, including the deaths of President Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy, Jr., and Hurricane Katrina’s devastation from the U.S. Gulf Coast. Vargas won an Emmy in 2000 for Outstanding Instant Coverage of a News Story for anchoring live coverage of the Elian Gonzalez case.

Vargas also has interviewed a wide range of celebrities, from actors and musicians to business leaders and authors including: Ellen DeGeneres, Jeff Skoll, Sheryl Crow, Madonna, Johnny Depp, Jessica Simpson, Mick Jagger, Drew Barrymore, Dan Brown, Alanis Morissette and Cat Stevens.

In 2016, Vargas released her memoir, Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction. The book details her lifelong struggle with anxiety and how she self-medicated with alcohol and tells a powerful story of healing and coping. The book spent several weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and won numerous awards. Vargas is a member of the board of directors for the non-profit Partnership to End Addiction. She hosts a podcast, Heart of the Matter, about addiction, recovery and the stigma so many face in their effort to heal.


MUW Scholarship Fund

Scholarship funds help The W strengthen our dynamic learning environment to benefit our entire student body. Scholarship support does so much more than provide tuition assistance; it recognizes and rewards hard work and dedication giving students opportunities to hone career choice and pursue their dreams. Scholarship funds make the difference in whether on not many deserving students are able to attend The W.


October 22, 2021
7:00 p.m.
Trotter Convention Center
402 2nd Avenue North
Columbus, MS, 39701

Black Tie Optional


5:30 p.m. Private reception with Elizabeth Vargas for Benefactors and Patrons
6:00 p.m. Friends reception with Welty Symposium authors in the Trotter Main Lobby
7:00 p.m. Dinner in the Trotter Ballroom
8:30 p.m. Elizabeth Vargas presentation
9:15 p.m. Book signing


Donor Levels



$5000 ($3,800 tax deductible)
Up to eight seats at a named table including preferred dinner service
Up to eight invitations to a private reception with Ms. Vargas
Four autographed copies of a top-selling book by Ms. Vargas
Prominent program recognition
One quarter-page advertisement in the Spring Issue of our alumni magazine, Visions
A 20-meal ticket to the MUW Hogarth Dining Center
Or a 20 -session pass to the MUW Stark Recreation Center




$500 ($400 tax deductible)
Dinner seating for one
Invitation to a private reception with Ms. Vargas
An autographed copy of a top-selling book by Ms. Vargas
Program recognition



$100 ($50 tax deductible)
Dinner seating for one
Invitation to friends reception with Welty Symposium authors in the Trotter Main Lobby


To sponsor the 2021 Welty Gala please call the Office of Development and Alumni at 662-329-7148.



For Additional Information

MUW Foundation
(662) 329-7148
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