Acclaimed journalist and author Wil Haygood (Miami '76) will join Miami's faculty in the spring semester of academic year 2014-2015 as the Karl and Helen Wiepking Visiting Distinguished Professor, a one-year appointment.
During academic years 2015-2017, he will hold the position of Distinguished Scholar in the department of media, journalism and film. Haygood will teach courses in media, journalism and film one semester during each of the three years of the appointments, said College of Arts and Science dean Phyllis Callahan. He will also mentor incoming students in the newly established Scholars in Writing for Media program, advise on the Freedom Summer documentary film project, advise student media editors and/or participate in Inside Washington and Inside Hollywood programs.
Haygood is speaking to several journalism, writing and political science classes at Miami March 5-7.
Haygood, whose 2008 Washington Post article was the basis for the 2013 movie "The Butler," addressed Miami graduates at the May 2013 commencement. He spoke on the summer of 1964 to kick off Miami's Celebrating Freedom program last fall.
Haygood, the first in his family to attend college, has written six nonfiction books, including prize-winning biographies of 20th-century figures: King of the Cats: the Life and Times of Adam Clayton Powell Jr., In Black and White: the Life of Sammy Davis Jr. and Sweet Thunder: the Life and Times of Sugar Ray Robinson. His other books are Two on the River - about a 2,500-mile journey down the Mississippi River - and The Haygoods of Columbus, a family memoir.
He wrote The Butler: A Witness to History to coincide with the release of the award-winning film, "The Butler," which starred six Oscar winning actors.
Haygood's books on Sammy Davis Jr. and Sugar Ray Robinson are currently being developed in Hollywood as motion pictures.
While at the Boston Globe before writing for the Washington Post, Haygood was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Among his journalism honors are the National Headliner Award, the New England Associated Press Award, the Sunday Magazine Editors Award, the Paul L. Myhre Single Story Award, the Virginia Press Association Award and the National Association of Black Journalist Award for both feature writing and foreign reporting, among others.