Renowned Russian Poet to Perform “The Lead Honorarium” during Closing Ceremony of the Missouri Journalism Centennial/Dedication Celebration

The Sept. 12 Evening Event Is Free and Open to the Public

Columbia, Mo. (Sept. 3, 2008) — As the world’s first school of journalism celebrates its first century on Sept. 12, one of the best known and most widely published poets in the world will commemorate the occasion and the sacrifice of journalists worldwide with the performance of a commissioned poem.

Yevgeny Yevtushenko
Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko will perform “The Lead Honorarium,” a poem he wrote in honor of the centennial of the Missouri School of Journalism and the dedication of the new Reynolds Journalism Institute.

The poem is dedicated to five courageous Russian journalists, each of whom paid the ultimate price in their attempt to expose the truth. Yevtushenko’s dramatic reading of “The Lead Honorarium” in both Russian and English will be held during the closing ceremony for the centennial/dedication. The event begins at 8 p.m., Sept. 12, in Mizzou Arena. It is free and open to the public.

The Missouri School of Journalism, the world’s first, opened its doors on Sept. 14, 1908. Its advanced curriculum takes advantage of new technologies and practices, a tradition of innovation that will intensify with the opening of the Reynolds Journalism Institute. RJI, funded by an initial $31 million gift from the Las Vegas-based Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, is a world-class center for researching and testing new models of journalism.

Yevtushenko began to use poetry in the early 1960s as a way to speak out against anti-Semitism, censorship, the dictatorship and other problems in Soviet society in the post-Stalinism generation. In 1961 he gained international acclaim for “Babi Yar,” a poem about the Ukrainian site that is considered the largest single massacre in the history of the Holocaust. Composer Dmitri Shostakovich put music to the words in his Symphony No. 13, subtitled Babi Yar.

Yevtushenko’s other acclaimed works include poetry collections such as The Third Snow (1955) and The Heirs of Stalin (1961), in addition to the film Soy Cuba (1964) and the play Under the Skin of the Statue of Liberty (1972). In 1987, Yevtushenko was appointed an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 1993 he received a medal as “Defender of Free Russia.”

Yevtushenko’s poetry reading will be preceded by the performance of “Telling the Story, Fair and True.” Written by Paul Reuter, executive director of the distinguished Sheldon Concert Hall and Art Galleries in St. Louis, the commissioned musical composition will be presented with more than 200 images from Pictures of the Year International, the School’s renowned photography competition. Faculty and students from the University of Missouri’s School of Music will perform the piece.

Alumni, students, citizens, journalists, communicators and academics from all over the world have registered for the Sept. 10-12 event, which will feature the more than 35 Futures Forum sessions, 27 Technology Summit sessions, 11 exhibits and displays, four musical and theatrical performances, two evening meal events, and much more.

About the Missouri School of Journalism and Reynolds Journalism Institute:
Since publishing the student-staffed University Missourian on Sept. 14, 1908, the Missouri School of Journalism has been the international leader in hands-on journalism education, also known as the “Missouri Method.” The first to offer bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in the field, the School is also the distinguished home of several national journalism organizations, mid-career professional programs and a thriving research agenda. Its advanced curriculum takes advantage of new technologies and practices, a tradition of innovation that will be intensified with the opening of the Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI). This 50,000 square-foot facility, created with an initial $31 million gift from the Las Vegas-based Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, will house state-of-the-art resources to test and demonstrate new technologies, experiment with convergence news production and delivery systems, and conduct real-time and virtual seminars and conferences.

Updated: April 29, 2020

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