Environmental advocate John Blair

The Hanover Class of 1965 Endowed Lectureship Series' first address of 2019 will feature John Blair, an environmental health advocate and Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer.

Blair will examine the region's transition from coal to clean energy during an appearance at 4 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 15, in Science Center, room 137. Admission is free.

While working as a photojournalist for United Press International, Blair earned a Pulitzer Prize in 1978 for his famed photograph of Anthony Kiritsis holding his mortgage broker hostage at gunpoint in Indianapolis. His experience in photojournalism led to a career in advocacy journalism and, ultimately, an environmental impact on the region.

During the 1970s, Blair also solidifed his dedication to environmental issues in Indiana, particularly air and water quality in the lower Ohio River valley. In the early 1980s, he incorporated Valley Watch, an Evansville, Ind.-based not-for-profit group with a mission to protect public health and the environment.

Since its inception, members of Valley Watch have spoken at more than 1,500 public events, providing education about the health impact of coal-fired power plants and synthetic-fuels plants proposed for the region. The group’s successes have included stopping three heavily subsidized synthetic fuel plants, three hazardous waste incinerators, several coal-fired power plants, a nuclear waste site and a nuclear plant.

The College’s Environmental Stewardship Committee serves as host of the event.