“Homeless to Harvard” heroine heads Homelessness Awareness Week at KSU

Liz Murray

  October 12-17 observance features conference and two-day student sleepout   KENNESAW,…

Georgia (Oct 1, 2009)

October 12-17 observance features conference and two-day student sleepout
KENNESAW, Ga. (Oct. 1, 2009) — Liz Murray, whose true story was captured in a Lifetime Television movie about her journey from homelessness at 15 to Harvard grad at 22, will deliver the keynote address at a one-day conference highlighting the second annual Homelessness Awareness Week at Kennesaw State University Oct. 12-17.
The conference is among a week of activities at KSU designed to increase awareness and understanding of the issues facing the homeless. Homelessness Awareness Week is observed annually at campuses across the country. Other highlights at KSU include a two-day sleepout, during which students must find shelter and food while attending classes and living outdoors on campus to simulate the plight of the homeless. Collections of food, clothing, blankets and toiletries are also being conducted.   
  • Liz Murray, the daughter of drug-addicted parents, became homeless at 15 after her mother died.  Murray finished high school in just two years while camping out in New York City parks and subway stations. She completed high school and earned a scholarship to Harvard.  After attending Columbia University for a short period to be closer to her ill father, Murray returned to Harvard where she completed her degree, graduating at 22. She has been featured on “ABC News,” “20/20,” “Good Morning America,”, “The Today Show” and CNN, as well as in articles in the New York Times and People magazine. 
  • Representatives of more than 20 agencies providing food, shelter and other services to the homeless in metro Atlanta will also appear at the conference, in classes and at forums throughout the week.
 Murray to speak Monday, Oct. 12, at 11 a.m. at the University Rooms in KSU’s Carmichael Student Center
Campus Sleepout – 6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 15,  through noon, Saturday, Oct. 17, in the quad area between the Social Science, Public Safety and Pilcher buildings.  
Other events throughout the week of Oct. 12 at various campus locations
For a complete list of KSU’s Homelessness Awareness Week activities and participants, visit http://haw2009.hss.kennesaw.edu/.
Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 70 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including new doctorates in education and business. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 22,500 from 142 countries.
Contact: Sabbaye McGriff, 678-797-2550 or smcgrif1@kennesaw.edu


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu