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Toward Summer 2012

Assuming you've all purchased a copy of "Favorite Words of Famous People," I'd be interested in hearing which of the selections was your favorite. Which new word you loved best, or even what your own favorite word is.

So lets move on to my program at Hunter College.

Just a week ago we held our annual Benefactor's Dinner, aka The 2nd Anniversary Dinner of the Hunter College Writing Center. It's by invitation only, and our way to thank people who have been supportive of the Writing Center. Among the celebrants were authors Barbara Taylor Bradford, Erica Jong, Elizabeth Strout, Bruce Jay Friedman, Ben Cheever, Patty Marx, Patricia Volk, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, Carol Gilligan, Sidney Offit,  Linda Fairstein, Richard Panek, Barbara Goldsmith, Nelson DeMille, Peter Straub, Grace Edwards, Malachy and Alphie McCourt, Susan Isaacs, 100 year old Bel Kaufman, and honorees Hilma and Meg Wolitzer, as well as many others. Also present were President Jennifer Raab of Hunter who co-hosted the evening with me, President Regina Peruggi of Kingsborough Community College and supporters and major benefactors such as sculptor/artist Elizabeth Strong-Cuevas, Jim and Marilyn Simons, Peter and Sharon Green, Joyce and Gene Eichenberg, Denise LeFrak and John Calicchio, Tina Santi Flaherty, and Mimi Levitt. For entertainment, we presented the gorgeous "Glad Girls" consisting of Jeannette Watson Sanger, Barbara Ascher, Helen Houghton, Betty Sargent, Anne Wazell, Joan Jakobson, who sang Cole Porter songs and charmed the audience with their retro style. Most of the "Glad Girls" are supporters of the Writing Center as well.

Of course, The Writing Center, which is becoming known as one of the fine showcases for culture in the city is continuing with it's Spring schedule of authors and thinkers. We have already presented biographer and Pulitzer Prize-winner Stacey Schiff, National Book Award-winning novelist Alice McDermott, cognitive scientist and linguistics professor Steven Pinker and his wife novelist Rebecca Goldstein who gave a bravura performance and social arbiter and editor of Quest Magazine David Patrick Columbia. These fantastic speaking events are all free to the students and faculty of Hunter College and to the New York City community, and I hope you will join us to hear upcoming authors and thinkers. These consist of Author Alan Furst on March 27th, the Director of Brown University's Institute for brain research, John Donoghue on April 3rd, the Kleiers from "Selling New York," on April 12th, quantum engineer Seth Lloyd from M.I.T. on April 16th, and Harvard's renowned Lisa Randall perhaps the most distinguished female particle physicist in the world and an expert on the Great Hadron Collider on May 3rd, and finally best-selling suspense writer Stuart Woods on May 21st. All of these events are held in the Faculty Dining Room of Hunter College at 7PM.

Please also note that on June 9th we will be holding the 2nd annual Writer's Conference at Hunter with keynotes Mary and Carol Higgins Clark, and Colson Whitehead. Among the other participants will be Lee Child, Harlan Coben, Steve Berry, Daphne Merkin, Peter Straub, Francine Du Plessix Gray, Bruce Jay Friedman, Adam Ross, Helen Schulman, and dozens of others. The cost is not much for such an august event and if you care about writing you won't want to miss it. As with all our offerings, you can find out more about them and register or call 212-772-4292. And please do say hello to me; I'll be happy to see you.

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