About the Gala
On Friday, October 23, at 7:00 p.m., The W family, including students from the Ina E. Gordy Honors College, alumni, and community members, are invited to join us for an elegant evening on campus. The Welty Gala begins with a cocktail reception with this year's Welty Symposium authors followed by dinner and a presentation by best-selling author and leading political satirist P.J. O'Rourke.
The Welty Gala is our annual fundraiser for the MUW Scholarship Fund, which funds general scholarships. To ensure the success of this event, The W is seeking supporters who will participate as Benefactors, Patrons, and Friends. The Welty Gala is a tremendous asset for The W and the local community. We are especially grateful and appreciative of your support for this event and the opportunity it provides our Honors College students to further their academic experience beyond the classroom.
About the Speaker
"O'Rourke is probably the most resilient comedy writer to come out of the early National Lampoon. He saw through the anarchists' narcissism, and has been satirizing it for years in Rolling Stone and elsewhere. But the conservative O'Rourke was reviled by the Lampoon staff, who saw themselves as consummately leftwing— or disorganized, or real, or drunk, or something. For his pains, O'Rourke, who was more professional than they, and more reliably funny, won the indignation of his colleagues, whom he later left in the dust. If anyone ‘changed comedy forever,' it was O'Rourke." - The New York Times
With more than 1 million words of trenchant journalism under his byline and more citations in The Penguin Dictionary of Humorous Quotations than any living writer, P. J. O'Rourke has established himself as America's premier political satirist. He is the best-selling author of 15 books, including Parliament of Whores, Republican Party Reptile, Holidays in Hell, Give War a Chance, Eat the Rich, The CEO of the Sofa, and On the Wealth of Nations (he read the whole darn thing – so you don't have to). Just out in paperback is his all-too-prescient take on the current election cycle, Don't Vote – It Just Encourages the Bastards. And his newest book, Holidays in Heck, recounts the international travel adventures of a former war reporter now accompanied by his family and wishing he were back under artillery fire. Both TIME and The Wall Street Journal have labeled O'Rourke "the funniest writer in America."
Born in Toledo, Ohio, P. J. O'Rourke attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and graduate school at Johns Hopkins, where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. After receiving an M.A. in English, he worked at small newspapers in Baltimore and New York.
In the early 1970s, he joined The National Lampoon where he became editor-in-chief and created (with Doug Kenney) the classic 1964 High School Yearbook Parody.
Concluding in the '80s that the real world was funnier than anything National Lampoon's writers could create, he became a foreign correspondent and has covered crises and conflicts in more than 70 countries.
O'Rourke has written for such diverse publications as The Wall Street Journal, Car and Driver, PARADE, House & Garden, Forbes Life, The Atlantic Monthly, and Rolling Stone, where he was the foreign-affairs desk chief for 15 years. He is a contributing editor at The Weekly Standard, the H.L. Mencken Research Fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington, DC, and a frequent panelist on National Public Radio's game show "Wait, Wait…Don't Tell Me!"
Covering current events, O'Rourke combines the skill and discipline of an investigative reporter with a comedian's sense of the absurd and the stupid. Known as a hard-bitten, cigar-smoking conservative, he, in fact, bashes all political persuasions. As he puts it, "Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys." Whether dealing with the inner workings of Washington bureaucracy or the shifting political and economic sands of the new world disorder, O'Rourke proves himself to be a savvy guide to national and global affairs. His razor sharp insights never fail to inform and entertain.
October 23, 2015
Mary Ellen Weathersby Pope Banquet Room
Hogarth Dining Center
Black Tie Optional
4:00 p.m. - Student discussion / informal Q&A (location TBA)
5:30 p.m. - Private Reception in President's Home
6:00 p.m. - Cocktail Reception with authors in Brigham President's Dining Room (Hogarth Dining Center)
7:00 p.m. - Dinner in Pope Banquet Room (Hogarth Dining Center)
8:15 p.m. - P.J. O'Rourke's Presentation
9:00 p.m. - Book Signing
$5,000 ($4,800 tax deductible)
Eight seats at a named table including preferential dinner service
Prominent program recognition
Eight invitations to the President's home for a private reception with Mr. O'Rourke
Four autographed books
One quarter-page advertisement in the spring issue of our alumni magazine VISIONS
Either a 20 meal ticket to the MUW Campus Dining Facility
OR a 20 session pass to the MUW Campus Recreational Center
$500 ($475 tax deductible)
Dinner seating for one
Invitation to the President's home for a private reception with Mr. O'Rourke
An autographed book
$75 ($50 tax deductible)
Dinner seating for one
Invitation to attend the reception in the Brigham Dining Room prior to Gala
For Additional Information
Office of Development and Alumni