Hughes Lecture to bring author

WEST LIBERTY — David Sheff, who wrote the memoir, “Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey through His Son’s Addiction,” will be the guest lecturer at West Liberty University’s Hughes Lecture on March 28. His talk will offer a look at America’s drug crisis.

“Beautiful Boy” is being made into a film directed by Felix Van Groeningen and starring Steve Carell and Timothee Chalamet to be released in October. The trailer was released in June by Amazon Studios.

Free and open to the public, the lecture will take place at 7:30 p.m. in College Hall and will be followed by a book signing in Boyle Conference Center.

“We’re very pleased to have an author of his caliber joining us again this year for the annual Hughes Lecture. We encourage all book lovers and anyone interested in this topic to save the date for Sheff’s visit,” said William Scott Hanna, the WLU English professor who is coordinating the event.

Sheff’s lecture will be about 90 minutes long, which includes time for questions from the audience. While visiting WLU, the author also will take part in an English class with writing students.

“In partnership with the WLU Foundation, we are privileged to carry out the legacy of our former professor, Dr. Raymond Hughes, in a way that benefits our students and the community at large,” Hanna added.

Sheff also is the author of “Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy,” the follow-up to his New York Times #1 best seller, “Beautiful Boy,” which was published in 2008.

Clean is the result of the years Sheff spent investigating the disease of addiction and America’s drug problem, which he sees as the greatest public health challenge of our time.

In 2009, Sheff was named to the Time 100, Time Magazine’s list of the World’s Most Influential People. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids honored him with a Special Tribute Award “in recognition of his voice and leadership for families who are struggling with addiction.”

He was also awarded the 2013 College of Problems on Drug Dependence Media Award, 2017 American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Media Award, and 2017 American Society of Addiction Medicine Media Award “to recognize his compelling portrayal of addiction and its personal effects on families and society as a whole.”

Sheff ‘s Beautiful Boy was based on his article, “My Addicted Son,” which appeared in the New York Times Magazine. The article won a special award from the American Psychological Association for “outstanding contribution to the understanding of addiction.”

“Beautiful Boy” was named the year’s Best Nonfiction Book by Entertainment Weekly, an Amazon “Best Books of 2008,” and it won first place in the Barnes and Noble Discover Award in nonfiction.

He is currently working on his next book, “The Buddhist on Death Row: Finding Light in the Darkest Place.”

He is on the advisory boards of the The Jed and Clinton Health Matters Campus Program “designed to help colleges and universities promote emotional well-being and mental health programming, reduce substance abuse and prevent suicide among their students,” and the International Bipolar Foundation.

The Hughes Lecture Series began in the 1970s and is named after Raymond Grove Hughes, who joined West Liberty in 1931. His endowment gift established a fund managed by the West Liberty University Foundation and known as the Hughes Lecture Series Endowed Fund.

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