Society & Culture

USA Today columnist to deliver McGill Lecture

McGill Lecture Christine Brennan-V
Christine Brennan

Athens, Ga. – One of the nation’s most widely read sports columnists will deliver this year’s McGill Lecture at the University of Georgia.

Christine Brennan of USA Today will speak on “Sports in the 21st Century: Big Money, Bad Behavior and Drug Cheats” on Oct. 9 at 4 p.m. in the Miller Learning Center, Room 250. The lecture is free and open to the public.

In addition to her work for USA Today, Brennan is an on-air commentator for ABC News, ESPN and NPR. She is an expert on the Olympics, having covered 15 consecutive Olympic Games starting with Los Angeles in 1984.

Earlier in her career, Brennan was the first woman to cover the Washington Redskins as a staff writer for The Washington Post and the first woman sports writer at the Miami Herald.

Brennan is the author of seven books, including the best-selling “Inside Edge,” named one of the top 100 sports books ever by Sports Illustrated. Her father-daughter memoir, “Best Seat in the House,” led one reviewer to write that Brennan is “not afraid to take on the toughest issues in sports today.”

Brennan may be best known to Georgia audiences as the columnist who triggered the debate in 2002 on the lack of women members at Augusta National Golf Club. A decade later, when the club invited its first women members, Brennan broke the story.

Brennan was a founder and the first president of the Association of Women in Sports Media, where she initiated a scholarship-internship program for college-age women that has placed more than 100 students in internships at outlets such as ESPN and Sports Illustrated.

Brennan received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, which named her to its Hall of Achievement in 2004.

For more than three decades, the McGill Lecture has brought significant figures in journalism to the University of Georgia to help honor Ralph McGill’s courage as an editor.

McGill, while editor and publisher of The Atlanta Constitution, was regarded as the “conscience of the South,” using the newspaper’s editorial pages to challenge segregation in the 1950s and 1960s. McGill was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1958 for “long, courageous and effective leadership.”

Established in 1978, this UGA annual lecture series addresses major issues impacting American journalism.

The McGill Lecture is funded by the McGill Endowment Fund.

UGA Grady College
Established in 1915, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers undergraduate majors in journalism, advertising, public relations, digital and broadcast journalism and mass media arts. The college offers two graduate degrees, and is home to the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism and the Peabody Awards, internationally recognized as one of the most prestigious prizes for excellence in electronic media. For more information, see or follow @UGAGrady on Twitter.