Cynthia Tucker

Cynthia Tucker, a Pulitzer Prize winner and veteran newspaper journalist, will deliver the 2012 Mary Francis Early Lecture on Wednesday, April 4 at 4 p.m. in the Tate Grand Hall. The 12th annual lecture celebrates the 50th anniversary of Mary Francis Early’s graduation as the first African American to earn a degree from the University of Georgia.

Tucker was the editorial page editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper for 17 years, where she led the development of opinion policy. More recently, she was The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Washington-based political columnist and maintains a syndicated column which is published in dozens of newspapers across the country.

In 2007, Tucker won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary. She has also received numerous other awards, including Journalist of the Year from the National Association of Black Journalists.

Tucker is currently a Visiting Professor of Journalism and the Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at UGA.

The annual lecture recognizes Mary Francis Early’s dedication toward making UGA an institution of higher learning for all people. The lecture series strives to demonstrate the progress that has been made in achieving her vision as well as to identify the work that remains to be done.

“This lecture honors a woman who chose to pursue her scholarly goals at the University of Georgia with quiet determination and dignity,” said Maureen Grasso, Dean of the Graduate School. “We are pleased that Ms. Early chose Cynthia Tucker to deliver this year’s lecture, as we recognize this important anniversary for her and the University.” Mary Francis Early began her graduate studies in 1961 in support of the first African American undergraduates who enrolled at UGA. She graduated a year later with a master’s degree in music education and completed her Specialist in Education degree in 1967.

The Mary Francis Early Lecture is sponsored by the Graduate School, the Graduate and Professional Scholars, and the Office of Institutional Diversity.