2016 Master of Ceremonies
Wil Haygood is currently Visiting Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at Miami University, Ohio. For years he was a
national and foreign correspondent at the Boston Globe, and then at the Washington Post.
At the Globe he covered the fall of apartheid in South Africa and stood across the road from the prison on the morning
Nelson Mandela walked to freedom after 27 years. At the Washington Post, Haygood wrote the story about White House
butler Eugene Allen, who worked for eight presidents. His story on Allen was adapted into the award-winning film,
The Butler, which starred, among others, Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Vanessa Redgrave, and Jane Fonda. Haygood
served as an Associate Producer of The Butler.
Wil Haygood has written seven non-fiction books, including a quartet of major prizewinning biographies of Adam Clayton
Powell Jr., Sammy Davis Jr., Sugar Ray Robinson, and Thurgood Marshall. His book, Showdown, about Marshall's life and
his 1967 confirmation hearings to become the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, was awarded the Scribes
Book Award - given annually since 1961 to the best book written on American law; the Ohioana Award, and a BCALA Literary
Award. It was also a Finalist for the Benjamin Hooks National Book Award, the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence,
the NAACP Image Award, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.