BSC Office of Communications

Your News Source for the Hilltop

February 17, 2003

Birmingham-Southern College announces additional GALA XVI honorees

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—A Tony, Grammy, and Emmy-nominated performer, the leader of the nation's most customer-friendly airline, and an award-winning CNN News anchor make up the second group of honorees announced this week for Birmingham-Southern College's GALA XVI celebration.

Eartha Kitt, international star of theatre, film, television, cabaret, and music; Colleen Barrett, president and the first chief operating officer of Dallas-based Southwest Airlines; and Fredricka Whitfield, news anchor of “CNN Saturday” and “CNN Sunday,” join 13 other women who will be honored in Birmingham May 1-2, 2003.

The initial group of 13 GALA XVI honorees was announced in October at the official kickoff of the biennial event that recognizes women of achievement from around the world and showcases the talent of Birmingham-Southern students to support scholarships for the college's Division of Fine and Performing Arts.

Barrett, who also serves as corporate secretary for the nation's fourth largest airline, joined Southwest in 1978 and is credited with much of its strong customer service record. The Department of Transportation has ranked Southwest No. 1 in customer satisfaction among all major U.S. airlines for 11 consecutive years. In 2001, Barrett was included among “America's Most Powerful Business Women” by Fortune magazine.

Kitt is one of only a handful of performers to be nominated for Tony, Grammy, and Emmy awards. She received Tony nominations for her roles in the Broadway plays “Mrs. Patterson,” “Timbuktu,” and “The Wild Party,” and her best-selling records include the Grammy-nominated “Folk Tales of the Tribes of Africa” and “Back in Business.” On television, she starred as Catwoman in the “Batman” series and received an Emmy nomination for her role in “I Spy.” She has written five best-selling books.


In addition to her weekend anchor duties, Whitfield also reports on worldwide breaking news events as a CNN correspondent from the network's headquarters in Atlanta. She also has been a correspondent for NBC News and served as an Atlanta-based correspondent for “NBC Nightly News” and “The Today Show.” Her awards include Associated Press Reporter of the Year and Society of Professional Journalists Rookie of the Year.


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