Distributed April 11, 2001
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Mary Jo Curtis
Presentation of a new award
Boswell to deliver inaugural Casey Shearer Memorial Lecture
Washington Post sports columnist and best-selling author Thomas Boswell will deliver the first Casey Shearer Memorial Lecture on Wednesday, April 25, 2001, at 6:30 p.m. in Starr Auditorium, MacMillan Hall. The evening’s program will include the first presentation of the annual Casey Shearer Memorial Award for Excellence in Creative Nonfiction.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Thomas Boswell, best-selling author and sports columnist for the Washington Post, will deliver the first Casey Shearer Memorial Lecture on Wednesday, April 25, 2001, at 6:30 p.m. in the C.V. Starr Auditorium of W. Duncan MacMillan Hall, corner of Brown and George streets.
This new lecture series honors the memory of Casey Shearer ’00, a promising young writer and aspiring sportscaster who died May 23, 2000, just days before he was to graduate from Brown. Shearer’s parents, Ruth Goldway and Derek Shearer, will introduce Boswell, who will speak on “True Success: the Pleasures of a Lifetime Spent in Sports Writing.” The lecture, sponsored by Brown University and the Shearer/Goldway family, is free and open to the public.
Prior to Boswell’s keynote address, Elizabeth S. Taylor, lecturer in the Department of English and one of Shearer’s favorite teachers, will announce the winners of the first Casey Shearer Memorial Award for Excellence in Creative Nonfiction. A first prize of $1,000, a second prize of $500 and an honorable mention will be awarded annually to a full-time junior or senior at Brown. The awards were funded by Shearer’s family and friends.
“Casey Shearer, a joyous and outgoing young man, was an accomplished and dedicated writer and radio broadcaster with a rich love and appreciation of sports,” said Taylor. “In each case, the (award) winners show a surprising sense of voice and narrative, as he did.”
Thomas Boswell began his career at the Washington Post shortly after earning a degree in English literature from Amherst College in 1969. After a stint as a copy aide at the newspaper, he became a general assignment sports reporter, covering baseball, golf, college basketball, tennis and boxing, as well as local high school sports. He has been a columnist for the Post since 1984.
Boswell’s work and reputation have since expanded well beyond the paper’s pages. He is the author of seven best-selling books on sport – including Diamond Dreams, Cracking the Show, Game Day, The Heart of the Order, Stokes of Genius, How Life Imitates the World Series, and Why Time Begins on Opening Day – and has earned praise from The New York Times for his writing’s “gentle humanity (and) a concern for decency, courtesy, moderation, contemplation and tolerance ... which allows him to pivot gracefully from newsprint to cloth covers.” He has contributed to broadcasts on ESPN and ESPN Classic and to the 1994 PBS documentary, Baseball, in addition to appearing on Good Morning America, Larry King Live, and The Late Show with David Letterman. His essays on baseball and boxing appear in David Halberstam’s The Best American Sports Writing of the Century, a collection of the 50 best sports essays of the past 100 years; in ESPN Sports Century, which heralds the sporting heroes of the 1900s; and in Baseball: An Illustrated History. His articles have also appeared in Esquire, GQ, Playboy, and Inside Sports magazines.
Casey Shearer ’00
Casey Shearer ’00 was a vibrant, talented, and well-loved member of the Brown community. An economics concentrator, he also studied Spanish, political science and literature, and he was one of a group that revived Brown Student Radio (WBSR). He was best known on campus as the station’s play-by-play sports announcer and as the author of the weekly sports column “On the Case” in the College Hill Independent.
Born and raised in Santa Monica, Calif., where his mother, Ruth Goldway, had once been mayor, Shearer graduated from high school in Finland, where his father, Occidental College Professor Derek Shearer, served as the U.S. ambassador. A top student at Brown, he was a member of the economics honor society and received his magna cum laude pin the Friday before he was to graduate. That same day, during his regular pick-up basketball game at the athletic center, Shearer’s heart stopped and he collapsed, the victim of an undetected virus that had infected his heart. He died four days later on May 23, 2000. His memorial service in Sayles Hall later that week was attended by several hundred members of the Brown community, as well as family and friends, including Bill and Hillary Clinton.