Pulitzer Prize-Winning Columnist to Speak
Dan Neil, ECU alumnus and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, will speak at East Carolina University on Thursday, Nov. 3, as part of the Cunanan Leadership Speaker Series hosted by the College of Business. The public is invited to attend this free event, which begins at 1pm in Mendenhall Student Center Great Room. Space is limited, and reservations can be made online at https://ecu.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_0V3VT6zONCybS1n
Neil’s presentation is titled, “The Future of Fast: How hyper-efficient ground-effects technology can make cars cleaner, safer and much, much faster. Behold a Speedster Paradise.”
Neil currently writes for The Wall Street Journal as a renowned automotive columnist. He previously worked as staff writer at the Los Angeles Times, AutoWeek and Car and Driver. He also served as a panelist on 2011’s short-lived “The Car Show” with Adam Carolla on Speed Channel. In 1999, Neil received the International Motor Press Association’s Ken Purdy Award for automotive journalism, and in 2004 he won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, presented annually to a newspaper writer who has demonstrated “distinguished criticism,” for his LA Times column “Rumble Seat.” He also won the National Newspaper Award for Best Columnist in 2004.
As part of the job, he has driven F1 cars, electric dragsters, Class 1 buggies (in the Baja 1000), and every exotic car made, from McLaren P1 to Bugatti Veyron. Neil also drove the record-setting Porsche 918 Hybrid at the Nurburgring and the 911 GT3 Hybrid at Estoril.
In 2015, he served as a TEDx presenter at Monmouth College’s “Accelerators” panel. In 2016, he was a panelist at EVS 29, the world electric-vehicle symposium, in Montreal. In September he received The Disrupter Award from the Alternative Energy and Transportation Expo.
Neil was born in Harrisburg, Pa. and moved to New Bern at age four with his parents. He received a B.A. degree in Creative Writing from East Carolina University in 1982 and an M.A. degree in English Literature from North Carolina State University in 1986. He currently resides in Raleigh with his family.
Dr. Stan Eakins, dean of the College of Business, said, “Dan is a one-of-a-kind author with numerous accolades, and he is the only automotive writer ever to win the Pulitzer Prize. We are proud to welcome him to Pirate country as both an alumnus and an automotive industry expert, and we look forward to learning about his experiences.”
The Cunanan Leadership Speaker Series is made possible by a generous gift from alumni Steve and Ellen Cunanan of Louisville, Ky. The Series brings distinguished leaders to East Carolina University, representing for-profit and non-profit firms, entrepreneurial activities, government, and public affairs. Topics highlight leadership, professional development, ethics, and the role of business in modern society.