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Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Hank Klibanoff to Deliver YHC’s Annual Ragsdale Lecture

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Media Contact: Krystin Dean
(706) 379-5310,

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Hank Klibanoff to Deliver Young Harris College’s Annual Ragsdale Lecture

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – On Monday, April 9, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Hank Klibanoff will deliver the annual Ragsdale Lecture at 7 p.m. in Susan B. Harris Chapel on the YHC campus. Klibanoff’s lecture, titled “The Race Beat: Then and Now,” will address news coverage of the civil rights struggle in the South.

Klibanoff became the James M. Cox Jr. Professor of Journalism at Emory University at the close of a 36-year career in newspapers in Mississippi and at The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where he served as managing editor for news.

In 2007, Klibanoff and his co-author, Gene Roberts, won the Pulitzer Prize in history for their book, “The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle and the Awakening of a Nation.” The book explores news coverage of civil rights from the 1930s through the late 1960s, including the impact of press from various parties as well as television and photojournalism.

Klibanoff serves as managing editor of the Civil Rights Cold Case Project that uses multimedia reporting to investigate unsolved racial murders that took place during the civil rights era in the South. The project is led by the Center for Investigative Reporting and Paperny Films.

He serves on the John Chancellor Excellence in Journalism Award Committee, and was formerly on the board of the Associated Press Managing Editors. He also serves on the board of VOX Teen Communications, a nonprofit youth development organization that enables metro Atlanta teens to express themselves freely by writing, designing and publishing a monthly newspaper.

For more information about this event, call (706) 379-5143.

About the Ragsdale Lecture Series
The Ragsdale Lecture Series brings national speakers to Young Harris College to discuss relevant governmental and political issues. It was established in 1983 by Mr. and Mrs. H.D. Paris to honor Mrs. Paris’ cousin, Warner B. Ragsdale, a 1917 graduate of Young Harris College who achieved a long and distinguished career in journalism.

After leaving YHC, Ragsdale completed his education at Georgia Institute of Technology. He began his journalism career serving on the staff of newspapers in Atlanta, Jacksonville, Fla., Hendersonville, N.C., Charlotte, N.C., Birmingham, New Orleans and Louisville. He joined the Associated Press in 1924 and became associate editor and political editor for the U.S. News and World Report in 1941. He remained in these roles until his retirement in 1970.

During his career in journalism, Ragsdale covered every national political convention held by the Republican and Democratic parties from 1928 to 1968 and traveled during campaigns with Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman. One of his career highlights was his coverage of the Scopes Evolution Trial in Dayton, Tenn., in 1925.

In 1937, he was honored by the National Headliners Club for “best feature story of the year” for his story about Al Capone and the Purple Gang. He served as a part chairman of the Executive Committee of the Congressional Periodic Press Gallery. At the time of his death in 1986, Ragsdale was engaged in writing “A Century of Presidential Elections, as seen from over the hill and back of the bus.”

About Young Harris College
Young Harris College is a private, baccalaureate degree-granting college located in the beautiful mountains of north Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires and empowers students through the highest quality liberal arts education. Long known for nurturing students during the first two years of college, Young Harris College received accreditation in 2008 to grant bachelor’s degrees. The College currently has approximately 900 students across four divisions—Fine Arts, Humanities, Mathematics and Science, and Social and Behavioral Sciences—and plans to increase enrollment to 1,200 over the next few years. The historic campus in Young Harris, Ga., is currently undergoing major campus improvements to accommodate the College’s growth, including recent completion of a 200-bed, LEED Silver-certified residence hall, Georgia’s first higher education facility north of Atlanta to achieve this certification, a 57,000-square-foot, LEED-certified recreation center, the second higher educational recreation facility in Georgia to achieve this certification, and a 148-bed, apartment-style residential village. In 2011, the College was granted candidacy for NCAA Division II athletics. For more information, visit

On Monday, April 9, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Hank Klibanoff will deliver the annual Ragsdale Lecture at 7 p.m. in Susan B. Harris Chapel on the YHC campus.