Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina (photo by Joseph Mehling ’69)
Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina, the Kathe Tappe Vernon Professor in Biography and professor and chair of English, was a member of the jury that selected finalists for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in biography or autobiography. “It was a tremendous honor to be on this jury,” notes Gerzina. “Our three members read through hundreds of books, and did our best to treat them all fairly. We sent our three favorites, unranked, to the larger committee. We learned of the final winner—The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt, by T. J. Stiles—when it was publicly announced in April. After months of work, the outcome was just as exciting for us as for the public.” Cynthia Huntington, professor of English and creative writing, chaired the Pulitzer poetry jury for 2006.