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Campus community invited to simulcast of Friedman talk

Sept. 27, 2009

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University students and faculty and staff members are invited to view a live broadcast of a Wednesday, Oct. 7, lecture by Pulitzer Prize winner and best-selling author Thomas L. Friedman.

Friedman is the keynote speaker for a public dinner celebrating the 60th anniversary of the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan. The University is one of the council's educational partners and a major sponsor of Friedman's talk.

WMU President John M. Dunn will introduce Friedman during the event, which is set to start at 6 p.m. Oct. 7 in Grand Rapids' DeVos Place.

Those interested in attending the event in Grand Rapids, may order tickets or obtain more information, by visiting the World Affairs Council Web site at worldmichigan.org, sending an e-mail to RSVP@worldmichigan.org or calling (616) 776-1721. Visit thomaslfriedman.com for more about Friedman and examples of his writings.

Free simulcast at WMU

The University's free simulcast of Friedman's presentation will take place at 8 p.m. in the Fetzer Center's Kirsch Auditorium. Although not open to the public, the WMU campus community is invited to attend. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m.

Friedman will discuss his 2008 book, "Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--And How it Can Renew America." In addition, he will touch on a highly anticipated new chapter that is in the book's second edition, which is scheduled to be released in November.

A No. 1 best seller, "Hot, Flat and Crowded" explains how America can lead the green revolution in the 21st century. It is one of several books by Friedman. His previous works include 2005's "The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century." That book demystifies the successes, challenges and discontents of globalization and also became a No. 1 best seller.

About Thomas Friedman

Friedman is a New York Times columnist who has won three Pulitzer Prizes. He joined the New York Times staff in 1981 as a financial reporter, specializing in OPEC- and oil-related news.

He later served as the Times' chief diplomatic, chief White House and international economics correspondents.

The well-rounded journalist has traveled hundreds of thousands of miles reporting on Middle East conflicts, the end of the Cold War, U.S. domestic politics and foreign policy, international economics, and the worldwide impact of the terrorist threat. His foreign affairs column, which appears twice weekly in the Times, is syndicated to more than 100 other newspapers worldwide.

"It's a privilege to have a guest speaker of this caliber at the anniversary dinner," says Dixie Anderson, executive director of the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan. "As a world-renowned author and journalist, it has taken us over three years to secure him as our speaker. This is his first and only visit to West Michigan."

World Affairs Council of Western Michigan

An educational nonprofit organization, the council is dedicated to educating people in Western Michigan about other countries, cultures and regions of the world. It has been in existence since 1949 and also provides a forum for discussion of critical foreign policy issues.

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Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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