Updated: November 7, 2007 - Listen to the audio
On the evening of November 5, Gail Collins, author, journalist, and first woman editor of the New York Times editorial page, will speak in Hooker Auditorium on the Mount Holyoke campus at 7:30 pm.
Her wide-ranging talk is titled "Observations on American Women's History, Politics, and the New York Times--from Jamestown to Hillary Clinton's Bid for the White House."
Gail Collins joined the New York Times in 1995 as a member of the editorial board and later served as an op-ed columnist. According to a biography posted online by that paper: "In 2001 she became the first woman ever appointed editor of the Times editorial page. At the beginning of 2007, she stepped down and began a leave in order to finish a sequel to her book, America's Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates and Heroines. She returned to the Times as a columnist in July 2007.
"Before joining the Times, Ms. Collins was a columnist at New York Newsday and the New York Daily News , and a reporter for United Press International. Her first jobs in journalism were in Connecticut, where she founded the Connecticut State News Bureau, which provided coverage of the state capitol and Connecticut politics. When she sold it in 1977, the CSNB was the largest news service of its kind in the country, with more than 30 weekly and daily newspaper chains."
Earlier in the day, Collins will speak in the seminar Opinion Journalism, taught by Elizabeth Taylor '79, visiting lecturer in English. Taylor was correspondent with Time in New York and Chicago for more than a decade. Now literary editor and Sunday Magazine editor of the Chicago Tribune, she is the second alumna editor to teach a journalism course here in as many years. Last fall, Mount Holyoke welcomed back Time magazine deputy managing editor Priscilla Painton '80, to teach a course titled Can You Trust a Journalist?
Collins has asked the College to donate her honorarium for her evening talk to Cincinnati Early Learning Centers.
Chris Benfey, Mellon Professor of English, notes "I was first aware of Gail Collins as a sharp-eyed and sharp-witted reporter covering New York politics for the New York Times. Recognizing her special talents, the Times gave her a column, where Collins added a distinctive voice to the op-ed page--smart, acerbic, and funny. When she was promoted to editor of the editorial page I was a little sorry, and missed her regular columns. Now, she's back, and the columns are as good and as funny as ever. It will be great to have her at Mount Holyoke."
Her talk is free, open to the public, and accessible to all.