60 for 60: Durham Tech Alumna Elizabeth Fenn named 2015 Pulitzer Prize winner

In celebration of Durham Technical Community College’s 60th anniversary, the College is publishing 60 for 60 – a storytelling campaign that highlights the people, places, and events that have progressed and shaped the College’s six decades of impact. To view more 60 for 60 stories, visit www.durhamtech.edu/60for60

Elizabeth Fenn didn’t take the usual college path.

In the mid-1980s, just before starting her doctoral dissertation at Yale University, she left the program, moved to Hillsborough, North Carolina, took automative classes at Durham Tech, and then worked in auto shops around Durham for nearly a decade. She later returned to Yale, finished her dissertation, and later became an historian, writer, and professor. 

In 2015, she published a book, Encounters at the Heart of the World: The History of the Mandan People, for which she won a Pulitzer Prize in History. 

Today, she is a distinguished professor and chair of the history department at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and she spoke to Durham Tech employees in August during Convocation 2022. 

Listen to her speech below.