University of Alabama News
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November 14, 2003


Elizabeth M. Smith
UA Media Relations

Diane Roberts

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166 Rose Administration
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International Political Commentator and UA English Professor Honored by Florida State University
Dr. Diane Roberts

Dr. Diane Roberts

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Dr. Diane Roberts, University of Alabama English professor and well-known political commentator in the United States and abroad, will be honored by her alma mater, Florida State University, on Nov. 15.

Roberts will be given a “Grads Made Good” award at FSU’s Homecoming Breakfast. Also being honored are Mel Martinez, U.S. secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and James Towey, deputy assistant to the president and director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. All three were chosen by the FSU Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society.

Roberts holds degrees in English and Creative Writing from FSU and a doctorate in literature from Oxford University, England. Her family has a long history with FSU dating back to her great-great-grandfather who attended in 1864 when the institution was known as the Seminary West of the Suwannee. Both of her parents graduated from FSU.

“It’s very nice to be given this award from an institution I have belonged to for my whole life,” Roberts said. “I got a brilliant education from FSU and it’s wonderful to be honored by a place that has meant so much to me and to my family.”

Roberts is in the midst of writing a non-fiction history of Florida that she hopes to have published in 2004 or early 2005 called “Dream State.” Today she also writes columns for the “St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times” and “The Times” of London, as well as occasional op-ed pieces for “The New York Times.” She serves as a commentator for National Public Radio and also records radio commentaries for the British Broadcasting Corporation on American writers and their lives.

The department of English is part of the College of Arts and Sciences, the University’s largest division and the largest public liberal arts college in the state, with approximately 5,500 undergraduates and 1,000 graduate students. The College has received national recognition for academic excellence, and its students have been selected for many of the nation’s top academic honors, including 13 Rhodes Scholarships, 14 Goldwater Scholarships, seven Truman Scholarships, and 15 memberships on USA Today’s Academic All-American teams.