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Columbia hosts 100th annual Pulitzer Prize award dinner

Media pioneers including playwright Lin Manuel-Miranda and executive editor of the New York Times Dean Baquet descended upon Low Library Thursday night to celebrate the 100th annual Pulitzer Prize awards.

The Pulitzers, the highest national honor for print journalism, literary achievements, and musical composition, have been awarded by Columbia University since Joseph Pulitzer endowed and created the prizes in 1917.

University President Lee Bollinger presented the awards and delivered a brief address, describing the unique connection between Columbia and the Pulitzer awards, drawing on the theme of the prizes’ centennial.

“It is the time of the creation of the School of Journalism, and it is the time of the origins of the famous Core Curriculum.” The creation of the Core, Bollinger said, ushered in “something unique in the academic world, by insisting on the close engagement of primary texts led ideally by non-experts with a mental eye towards understanding civilizations’ deepest puzzles.”

Bollinger continued by noting that the awards share the same values as the Core, as they recognize “absolute independence of mind, creativity and courage of ideas, all infused with the purpose of advancing human understanding.”

Miranda’s Broadway show “Hamilton” received the Pulitzer for Drama, the first musical to win in the section in six years. After the event, Miranda posed for pictures with the group of approximately thirty Columbia students that gathered to catch a glimpse of him.

The Associate Press won the coveted Pulitzer for Public Service for their story, “Slaves may have caught the fish you bought,” an exposé on labor abuse in Thailand's seafood business.

ProPublica and the Marshall Project were awarded for Explanatory Reporting for their story, “An Unbelievable Story of Rape,” which chronicled a failed police investigation that culminated in the prosecution of a sexual assault survivor who was accused of lying to authorities.

It is the first Pulitzer won by the Marshall Project, a nonprofit news organization covering the U.S. criminal justice system led by Neil Barsky, Journalism ’84, and Kirsten Danis, CC ’92 and the 115th editor in chief of Spectator.

See the full list of winners below:

Public Service

The Associated Press

Breaking News Reporting

The Los Angeles Times

Investigative Reporting

Leonora LaPeter Anton and Anthony Cormier of The Tampa Bay Times, and Michael Braga of The Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Explanatory Reporting

T. Christian Miller of ProPublica and Ken Armstrong of The Marshall Project

Local Reporting

Michael LaForgia, Cara Fitzpatrick, and Lisa Gartner of The Tampa Bay Times

National Reporting

The Washington Post Staff

International Reporting

Alissa J. Rubin of The New York Times

Feature Writing

Kathryn Schulz of The New Yorker

Commentary

Farah Stockman of The Boston Globe

Criticism

Emily Nussbaum of The New Yorker

Editorial Writing

John Hackworth and Brian Gleason of Sun Newspapers, Charlotte Harbor, Fla.

Editorial Cartooning

Jack Ohman of The Sacramento Bee

Breaking News Photography

Tyler Hicks, Mauricio Lima, Sergey Ponomarev, and Daniel Etter of The New York Times

Photography Staff of Reuters

Feature Photography

Jessica Rinaldi of The Boston Globe

Fiction

“The Sympathizer,” by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Drama

“Hamilton,” book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda

History

“Custer's Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America,” by T. J. Stiles

Biography

“Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life,” by William Finnegan

Poetry

“Ozone Journal” by Peter Balakian

General Nonfiction

“Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS,” by Joby Warrick

Music

“In for a Penny, In for a Pound,” by Henry Threadgill

catie.edmondson@columbiaspectator.com | @CatieEdmondson

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