Pulitzer Prize Centennial Programming

The Pulitzer Prizes Turn 100

Pulitzer Prizes Celebrates 100 YearsMaryland Humanities commemorates the centennial of the Pulitzer Prizes with a year-long series of events

These events are part of the Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires Initiative, a nationwide celebration funded by the Pulitzer Prizes, in partnership with the Federation of State Humanities Councils, and made possible through a $1.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Programming kicked off in March 2016 with panel discussions featuring acclaimed journalists discussing their craft and culminated December 6, 2016 with a special event featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning author-historians Taylor Branch and Isabel Wilkerson in a conversation moderated by Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Did you miss the culminating event? Watch it now!

WORLDWISE: Arts and Humanities Dean’s Lecture Series: Pulitzer 100 from UMD College of Arts & Humanities on Vimeo.

21st Century Journalism Ethics: Seek the Truth and Report It

Maryland students reflect on journalism ethics

As we celebrated the centennial of the Pulitzer Prizes, we invited Maryland students taking formal writing or journalism courses or working for their school newspaper to examine a contemporary ethical dilemma in professional journalism and to share their take on the issue.
  • What was the project?
    The 24-hour news cycle, quest for the big story, citizen journalism, proliferation of online news outlets, pressure to support revenue generation, and competition to be the first to break big news are just a few of the limitless factors impacting journalists. The demands of the contemporary news cycle can create a challenging tension between the search for the truth and professional ethics. At times, truth and accuracy are what’s lost.


    Young writers are the future of journalism. As we celebrated the centennial of the Pulitzer Prizes, we wanted to hear what they have to say on the topic of journalism ethics. From Brian Williams to Rolling Stone to Stephen Glass, lapses in professional judgement contribute to the erosion of confidence in the media.

    We invited Maryland students taking formal writing or journalism courses or working for their school newspaper to examine a contemporary ethical dilemma in professional journalism and to share their take on the issue. Submissions are featured on the Maryland Humanities website and forwarded to the Pulitzer Prizes Centennial archive.

  • What were the parameters?

    • Students can work individually or as a group to examine any contemporary ethics issue of their choosing, whether high profile or lesser known
    • Projects should include an overview of the issue, analysis, and conclusion
    • Submit work as a blog (up to 750 words), podcast or video of no longer than ten-minutes via email
    • Be sure to include student name(s), school, and a contact email with your submission
    • Upon submission, participants will be asked to complete a permission release form to acknowledge the posting of their work on the Maryland Humanities website and inclusion in the Pulitzer Prizes centennial archive
    • Projects will be accepted on a rolling basis through December 1, 2016
    • For more information or to submit your work, contact Andrea Lewis


Taylor Branch, Photo: Jean-Pierre Isbendjian

Isabel Wilkerson, Photo: Joe Henson

Tuesday, December 6 at 7 PM

The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center

8270 Alumni Dr, College Park, Maryland

  • Pulitzer 100 Event Details
    What is the impact of the humanities on American life? As part of the Pulitzer Prizes’ Centennial Celebration, Maryland Humanities partnered with the College of Arts and Humanities to present Pulitzer Prize-winning author-historians Taylor Branch and Isabel Wilkerson. NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund’s Sherrilyn Ifill moderated an engaging discussion between the two on the historical context behind their Pulitzer Prize-winning work and its relevancy to our lives today. Thank you to everyone who joined us for this once-in-a-lifetime discussion!

    This program is part of the 2016 Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfire Initiative, a joint venture of the Pulitzer Prizes Board and the Federation of State Humanities Councils, sponsored in part by the Mellon Foundation.

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Drama: Grab a seat and enjoy the show!

In collaboration with Maryland Humanities, Olney Theatre Center presented a three-day festival of staged readings of Pulizer Prize-winning plays, September 30–October 2.

The Pulitzer Prize Festival of staged readings at Olney Theatre Center was supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and Montgomery College.


  • Play Schedule

    • Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire (1948): Friday, September 30, 8:00 p.m.
    • D. L. Coburn’s The Gin Game (1978): Saturday, October 1, 1:00 p.m.
    • August Wilson’s Fences (1987): Saturday, October 1, 4:00 p.m.
    • Jerome Weidman, George Abbott, Jerry Bock & Sheldon Harnick’s Fiorello! (1960): Saturday, October 1, 7:30 p.m.
    • Quiara Alegría Hudes’ Water by the Spoonful (2012): Sunday, October 2, 1:00 p.m.
    • Derek Goldman’s The Bridge of San Luis Rey, adapted from Thornton Wilder’s novel (1928): Sunday, October 2, 5:00 p.m.


Pulitzer Panels: Journalism & Its Power to Inform

  • Panel Details
    Panels were sponsored in part by The Baltimore Sun and moderated by Andrew Green, Editorial Page Editor at The Baltimore Sun.

    Date Topic Panel
    March 8 Voice for the Powerless Liz Bowie, Scott Higham (Pulitzer 2002), Deborah Nelson (Pulitzer 1997)
    March 29 War/Veterans/National Security Dan Fesperman, David Wood (Pulitzer 2012)
    April 19 Challenges Faced by Baltimore Justin Fenton, Erica Green, E.R. Shipp (Pulitzer 1996), Diana Sugg (Pulitzer 2003)
    May 10 The Environment Will Englund (Pulitzer 1998), McKay Jenkins, Elizabeth McGowan (Pulitzer 2013), John McQuaid (Pulitzer 1997, 2006)

About the Campfires Initiative

This program is part of the Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires Initiative, a joint venture of the Pulitzer Prizes Board and the Federation of State Humanities Councils in celebration of the 2016 centennial of the Prizes. The initiative seeks to illuminate the impact of journalism and the humanities on American life today, to imagine their future and to inspire new generations to consider the values represented by the body of Pulitzer Prize-winning work.

For their generous support for the Campfires Initiative, we thank the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Pulitzer Prizes Board, and Columbia University.


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  • “I enjoyed that this program directly related to key issues within our community […] I think this lecture could go on for hours; it’s fabulous!”

    Pulitzer Panel attendee
  • “[I enjoyed] the selection of icons: Taylor [Branch], Isabel [Wilkerson], and Sherrilyn [Ifill] as a team!!! I died and am in heaven.”

    Pulitzer 100 event attendee
  • “[I enjoyed] listening to the personal experiences of the panelists as they honestly confronted the universal problems of the 21st century.”

    Pulitzer Panel attendee
  • “[I liked] witnessing three leaders in American thought discuss important issues in illuminating ways.”

    Pulitzer 100 event attendee
  • “Very interesting program. I had not heard of or read any of the stories; I would like to read them now.”

    Pulitzer Panel attendee
  • “[This panel provided] interesting insights into areas of our community that I don’t get by direct observation.”

    Pulitzer Panel attendee
  • “All of [this event] was wonderful! I enjoyed Ms. Ifill’s facilitation very much! I enjoyed Taylor Branch. I hadn’t heard him before; he was very refreshing. Ms. Wilkerson was fabulous. I appreciate her candor and passion.”

    Pulitzer 100 event attendee
  • “[I enjoyed the] thoughtful discussion about complex social issues that gave me hope for our future.”

    Pulitzer 100 event attendee
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