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Overby Center announces spring schedule

The spring slate of programs at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics will include several discussions on important people and historical moments throughout the world of journalism, including another appearance by Shepard Smith.

The spring schedule was announced by the Overby Center on Wednesday, and will begin on Feb. 18 and run through April 7 with six diverse programs.

“This spring’s programs offer great conversations with and about nationally recognized experts,” said Charles Overby, chairman of the Overby Center. “The audience will also have an opportunity to join these conversations.”

Making one of his first public appearances since leaving Fox News last fall, Shepard Smith is returning to the University of Mississippi after speaking with students last October. The program, titled “Shepard Smith Comes Home,” will take place on March 31 and feature a discussion with Overby and Curtis Wilkie as Smith talks about his career in broadcast journalism.

The following evening, Smith will be awarded the Silver Em award during a ceremony at the Jackson Avenue Center. The award is given by the School of Journalism and New Media to a Mississippi-connected journalist whose career has exhibited the highest tenets of honorable, public service journalism, inside or out of the state.

The first program of the spring season is called “The Intersection of Religion and Politics.” Terry Mattingly, editor of the blog GetReligion, and Richard Ostling, former chief religion writer for The Associated Press and former senior correspondent Time magazine, will have a conversation with Overby on Feb. 18.

On March 24 there will be a program called “Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People,” which will be a discussion of the documentary by the same name between Robert Seidman, who was one of the producers, and Wilkie.

The spring season will conclude on April 7 with a program titled “Robert Kennedy’s 1966 Visit to Ole Miss.” Civil rights lawyer Barbara Phillips, who is a lecturer at the University of Mississippi School of Law, will discuss a documentary called “You Asked for the Facts.” The documentary traces Robert F. Kennedy’s dramatic appearance at Ole Miss after being invited by law students to speak in hopes it would derail former Mississippi governor Ross Barnett’s attempt to be elected again. Mary Blessey, a producer on the documentary, will also take part in the program.

All programs are free to the public and begin at 5:30 p.m. inside the Overby Auditorium. To view the full spring schedule, visit overbycenter.org.