An Evening With David Sheff to Include Film at Towngate

Best-selling author David Sheff, who wrote the memoir, “Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction,” will be the guest lecturer at West Liberty University’s Hughes Lecture on Thursday, March 28.

His talk will offer a personal look at America’s drug crisis and will take place in College Hall.

The heartbreaking story, released last fall, was made into a film starring Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet. It will be shown at 3 p.m., Sunday, March 24, at Towngate Theatre, 2118 Market St., as part of a special package available to VIP donors.

“Though the lecture itself is free and open to the public, the movie is part of a special donor package that includes a pre-lecture dinner, book signing and more. Anyone interested in this package and wanting to support the Hughes Lecture should contact the WLU Foundation office as soon as possible,” said Angie Zambito-Hill, executive director of the WLU Foundation.

“We are grateful to Oglebay Institute for partnering with us to show the film.”

The VIP pre-lecture dinner will be held at the Boyle Conference Center (ASRC) and cocktails begin at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 5:30 p.m. The VIP dinner will be attended by David Sheff.

Donors taking part in the VIP package will receive a book and have opportunity for personal conversation with Sheff prior to the lecture. Lecture seating will also be guaranteed and reserved for VIP donors.

For those interested in simply attending the Hughes Lecture, it will take place at 7:30 p.m., March 28, in College Hall and will be followed by a public book signing in Boyle Conference Center.

Tickets to the movie also are available to the general public for a $5 donation on a first-come, first-serve basis. The film will be shown just one time at Towngate.

Subscribe to Weelunk

“We’re are so pleased to have an author of Sheff’s caliber joining us again this year for the annual Hughes Lecture. We encourage all book lovers and anyone interested in this important topic to plan on attending,” said Dr. William Scott Hanna, WLU English professor and faculty coordinator.

Sheff’s lecture will be about 90 minutes long, which includes time for questions from the audience. While visiting WLU, the author also will take part in an English class with writing students.

Sheff also is the author of “Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy,” the follow-up to his New York Times No. 1 best seller, “Beautiful Boy,” which was published in 2008.

“Clean” is the result of the years Sheff spent investigating the disease of addiction and America’s drug problem, which he sees as the greatest public health challenge of our time.

In 2009, Sheff was named to the Time 100, Time Magazine’s list of the World’s Most Influential People. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids honored him with a Special Tribute Award “in recognition of his voice and leadership for families who are struggling with addiction.”

Books will be available for purchase at the lecture and will include “Beautiful Boy” and the book by Nick Sheff (David Sheff’s son) “Tweak.”

Named after Dr. Raymond Hughes, a beloved English professor for nearly four decades at West Liberty, the Hughes Lecture Series began in 1978.

“His foresight established the fund that continues to bring a wide range of authors and speakers to WLU and our community,” said Hanna.

Suggested minimum contribution for the VIP package with dinner is $100 per person. Proceeds will go toward the College of Liberal Arts General Fund.

VIP seating is limited and donors are asked to contact the WLU Foundation at 304-336-5635 or visit as soon as possible.