New York Times Columnist to Present 49th Hays Press-Enterprise Lecture

By Tess Eyrich |
Riverside, Ca –

New York Times Op-Ed columnist, veteran journalist, and best-selling author Frank Bruni will present the 49th Hays Press-Enterprise Lecture at the University of California, Riverside on Friday, May 18.

Bruni’s presentation will take place at 4 p.m. in the University Theatre. The event is free and open to the public, and parking will be complimentary in Lot 6. Advance registration is requested and can be completed here.

The annual lecture series was established in 1966 by Howard H “Tim” Hays Jr., a longtime owner and publisher of The Press-Enterprise newspaper, to examine issues in journalism. His son, Tom Hays, created an endowment fund to make sure the tradition of the lecture lived on in Riverside even after his father’s death in 2011.

“For decades now, the Hays Press-Enterprise Lecture has brought some of the most important voices in journalism and American thought to UC Riverside,” said UCR Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox. “Frank Bruni carries on this proud legacy. His wide-reaching work as an author, reporter, and editorialist has covered the biggest stories in the U.S. and around the world, and his lecture promises to be insightful, engaging, and entertaining.”

Bruni follows in the footsteps of other top-tier journalists who have visited Riverside to deliver the annual lecture, including Katharine Graham, Ben Bradlee, and Marty Baron from the Washington Post; columnists George Will and James Reston; NBC vice chairman Richard Salant; CNN President Tom Johnson; former Wall Street Journal publisher Karen House; Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page; Jonathan Gold and Davan Maharaj from the Los Angeles Times; and Ray Suarez from the PBS NewsHour and Al-Jazeera.

Last year’s presenter, Marshall Project Editor-in-Chief and former New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller, emphasized the importance of journalists and the news media in the age of the Trump administration.

Bruni has written a twice-weekly Op-Ed column for The New York Times since June 2011, focusing on topics related to American politics, higher education, and social issues. He is also a CNN contributor and the author of three New York Times best-selling books including 2015’s “Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania.”

Bruni is The Times’ first openly gay Op-Ed columnist. He joined the newspaper in 1995 and over two decades has served in a variety of roles including White House correspondent, congressional reporter, writer-at-large for the Sunday magazine, chief restaurant critic, and Rome bureau chief.

His coverage of George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign was the subject of his first best-selling book, “Ambling Into History,” published in 2002. His second best-seller, a memoir called “Born Round,” was released in 2009. He is also the author of “A Gospel of Shame: Children, Sexual Abuse, and the Catholic Church” and “A Meatloaf in Every Oven,” his one and only cookbook.

Bruni arrived at The New York Times in 1995 after five years at the Detroit Free Press, where he reported on the AIDS crisis and the first Persian Gulf War. During his time there, he was also a runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for his profile of a convicted child molester.

Bruni grew up in White Plains, New York, and Avon, Connecticut, and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in English. He later earned a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.

Bruni is 53 and lives in Manhattan with his longtime partner, Tom Nickolas, a physician.