Award-Winning Journalist and Author, Wil Haygood to Launch “The Butler” at ODU

Wil Haygood


Columbus, OH – Ohio Dominican University (ODU) is proud to host author and award-winning journalist for The Washington Post, Wil Haygood, as he launches his critically acclaimed book, “The Butler.” An Evening with Wil Haygood: The Creative Genius behind “The Butler” will take place at 7 p.m., Sept. 12 in the Matesich Theatre, which is located inside Erskine Hall on ODU’s main campus, 1216 Sunbury Road, Columbus.  

Haygood will be joined by Steve Reiss, Haygood’s former editor at The Washington Post, for an in-depth discussion on writing and their professional experiences. 

The event is free and open to the public. You can reserve your seat at 

“The Butler” was inspired by a series of articles Haygood wrote for The Washington Post from 2008-10 about Eugene Allen, a White House butler who served eight U.S. presidents. Haygood’s articles have inspired a star-studded major motion picture, “Lee Daniel's The Butler,” directed by Lee Daniels and starring Oprah Winfrey, Forest Whitaker, Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Robin Williams, Terrence Howard, Alan Rickman, Vanessa Redgrave and Lenny Kravitz. 

"It's important for me to bring ‘The Butler’ experience to the Ohio Dominican University campus,” said Haygood. “It was at ODU where a part of my life was formed as a college prep student in 1970, 1971 and 1972, and also where a part of my writing muscle was formed. ‘The Butler’ book and "Lee Daniels' The Butler" movie cover an important part of American history - that part when black citizens were often denied the right to vote, as well as overall justice. President Obama just didn't land in the White House as this country's first black president because of shrewd political talent. This has been a long march that involved epic civil rights battles, slain martyrs, and politicians in Washington showing bravery in 1964 and 1965 by passing landmark civil rights and voting rights bills." 

Haygood attended ODU as a high school student during the summer from 1970-72 through ODU’s Upward Bound program. 

“We are delighted that Wil has selected Ohio Dominican University as the site to launch “The Butler,” said ODU President Peter Cimbolic, Ph.D. “This truly offers us a unique and wonderful opportunity to educate and engage ODU’s campus community and the public. We are proud of the positive influence ODU has had in Wil’s life and professional success, and we are committed to having a similar and profound impact on every student who walks our campus.” 

“Lee Daniels' The Butler” movie is scheduled for release on Aug. 16. “The Butler” book is published by Atria Books and will be available for purchase on Aug. 1. 

Attendees may purchase copies of “The Butler” at the event. A book signing and reception will be held in the Bishop James A. Griffin Student Center immediately following the discussion. 

Ohio Dominican University is a four-year private comprehensive liberal arts and master’s institution, founded in 1911 in the Catholic Dominican tradition. The University has approximately 2,700 students and offers undergraduate degrees in 43 majors as well as seven graduate degree programs. Ohio Dominican uses a student-centered approach, with a commitment to quality teaching and learning.