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The University of Alabama

Cook Political Report Editor to Speak at UA’s Blackburn Symposium

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Charlie Cook, editor and publisher of the Cook Political Report and columnist for the National Journal, will be the keynote speaker in the annual Gloria and John L. Blackburn Academic Symposium at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Ferguson Center on The University of Alabama campus.

Cook’s lecture is free and open to the public as part of the Blackburn Institute’s Annual Symposium. He also will meet privately with UA’s Blackburn Institute students, Fellows and advisory board members.

Charlie Cook

Charlie Cook

For more than two decades, Cook has served as a voice on the American political scene, including congressional, gubernatorial and presidential elections. As the editor and publisher of the Cook Political Report and a political analyst for the National Journal Group, he produces political handicapping, serving as a go-to-source for elections.

Cook’s expertise has been featured on the ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news programs as well as “Good Morning America,” “Today,”Nightline,” “Meet the Press” and “This Week.” He has also been an election night analyst for CNN, CBS and NBC News and for every presidential election since 1994.

He founded the Cook Political Report in 1984 and became a twice-weekly columnist for Roll Call, Capitol Hill’s premier newspaper, before joining the National Journal Group in 1998. Cook also served as a resident fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard in 2013.

Founded in 1994, The Blackburn Institute is developing a network of leaders — the Blackburn Fellows — who have a clear understanding of the challenges that face the state of Alabama. The institute provides the Fellows opportunities to explore issues and identify strategic actions that will improve the quality of life for Alabama and the nation.

The 2016 Blackburn Fellows

The 2016 Blackburn Fellows

Each year, approximately 40 students are selected to join the institute after an extensive nomination, application and interview process. During the selection process, the Blackburn Institute focuses on identifying students who are most interested in community improvement. Upon successful completion of the Blackburn curriculum, these students earn the title of Blackburn Fellow when they graduate.

The institute assists its Fellows by providing continued development and support as well as networking opportunities to fulfill the institute’s ideals.

The Blackburn Institute is named in honor of the late Dr. John L. Blackburn. A nationally renowned leader in higher education, Blackburn served as dean of students at UA and was instrumental in the University’s peaceful integration.

In 1994, UA’s Division of Student Affairs formed the institute to foster Blackburn’s belief that people link strategic actions through the generations for progressive and ethical change.

For a detailed history of the institute, go to

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.