Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

November 3, 2000

2000-2001 Ada Redmond Reading to Feature Author Ceil Cleveland

Ceil Cleveland, who is believed to have inspired the free-spirited lead character in the acclaimed novel and movie The Last Picture Show before becoming a successful writer, businesswoman and university administrator, is Whitworth's 2000-2001 Ada Redmond Reader.

Hosted by Whitworth's English Department, Cleveland will visit several English classes and will appear with Whitworth English Professor Leonard Oakland on Thursday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. to lead a discussion of The Last Picture Show and Cleveland's recent book, Whatever Happened to Jacy Farrow? A Memoir. The discussion will take place in Whitworth's Eric Johnston Science Center, Room 233.

Cleveland will read from her book Friday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. in the Music Building Recital Hall at Whitworth. A reception, book sale and signing will follow the Friday-night reading. There will be disabled access to all events, and all events are free.

Cleveland, a 1969 Whitworth alumna who recently retired from her position as vice president for university affairs at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, returns to her alma mater with an impressive resume. She is founder and was for nearly ten years editor-in-chief of Columbia: The Magazine of Columbia University. She founded and edited Q Magazine for Queens College, and was also founder and editor of The Brook, at SUNY Stony Brook.

Among her honors for editing and publishing, Cleveland has received the EdPress and International Business Communications Awards for Excellence, the Educational Publishers Communications Award for Excellence and Gold Award, and awards for Magazine of the Decade and Best Writing of the Decade from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.

Cleveland founded her marketing and editorial-projects organization, Cleveland Communications, Inc., in 1986. Her company has produced printed and visual materials for Columbia University, the University of California system, City College of New York, and a number of other prestigious educational institutions.

She has also worked as a freelance journalist, producing articles for such publications as The New York Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Journal of Applied Behavioral Psychology, The New York Times Book Review, and the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Cleveland's Whatever Happened to Jacy Farrow? A Memoir explores coming of age in a small Texas town through the eyes of its title character, the wild and beautiful young girl in Larry McMurtry's acclaimed novel The Last Picture Show.

Cleveland and McMurtry were childhood friends in Archer City, Texas, where many residents believe that Cleveland was the model for Jacy. For a time, Cleveland denied this. "But as I wrote this memoir," she says, "I discovered that sure enough I did have some of the characteristics of this person and maybe I shouldn't go around denying that I was."

McMurtry says of the book, "Ceil Cleveland has written a lively, vivid, and evocative book about how it was to be a young woman within the era and the aura of The Last Picture Show. It is a book which will resonate strongly with many readers who were young in that time."

Professor Emeritus Howard Redmond established the Ada Redmond Readings in 1988 to commemorate his mother's love of literature and poetry. Since its inception, the series has brought some of the finest regional writers to the Whitworth campus, writers such as William Stafford, Ruth Kirk, Sherman Alexie, Joy Harjo, and Tess Gallagher. A digital photo of Ceil Cleveland can be provided by Whitworth College upon request.


Doug Sugano, professor of English, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4212 or dsugano@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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