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*Scott James, Adelphi Alum, and Emmy-Winning Journalist will Discuss an Infamous Nightclub Fire


GARDEN CITY, NY (03/25/2021) On Wednesday, April 7, Adelphi University will host a conversation with Emmy-winning journalist, author and Adelphi alumnus Scott James about his book Trial by Fire: A Devastating Tragedy, 100 Lives Lost, and a 15-Year Search for Truth. Adelphi's President Christine Riordan will talk with James about what compelled him to reexamine one of America's deadliest criminal cases, the death of 100 people in a fire started by a pyrotechnic display at a Rhode Island concert in 2003.

Scott James
Veteran journalist and fiction author Television news Emmy award winner

"Trial by Fire: Writing the Book That Reopened One of America's Deadliest Criminal Cases'' will be moderated by Liza Burby, author and faculty adviser to Adelphi's award-winning student newspaper, The Delphian. The discussion also will focus on James' writing process, the role of journalism, and whether we can trust the safety regulations and justice systems meant to protect the public. The episode examined by James' book took place in February 2003, during a concert by the glam rock band Great White at The Station, a West Warrick, Rhode Island, nightclub. It was one of the deadliest nightclub fires in U.S. history.

"There's no replacement for someone who holds the powerful accountable, who gets them on the record," said James, who graduated from Adelphi in 1984. "Journalism's goal is more important than ever."

James, a three-time Emmy award-winner for his work in television news, said his time as editor of the Adelphi student newspaper The Delphian laid the foundation for his successful career as a journalist and author. Since 2009, his reporting has appeared in The New York Times and he is also the author of two bestselling novels, SoMa and The Sower. See more about his book Trial by Fire, published in fall 2020.

Dr. Riordan became Adelphi's 10th president in 2015, the first woman to serve in the role. She is an internationally recognized leadership development expert known for her groundbreaking initiatives to personalize and transform the higher education experience. She has published nearly 70 academic and business press articles and is currently finishing a book, Shift Happens: How to Adapt and Thrive in a Rapidly Changing World of Work.

The discussion, part of Adelphi's Great Minds, Great Conversations series, will take place virtually from 1 to 2:30 p.m., and is free and open to the public. To learn more and register, visit

About Adelphi: A modern metropolitan university with a personalized approach to higher learning

Adelphi University, New York, is a highly awarded, nationally ranked, powerfully connected doctoral research university dedicated to transforming students' lives through small classes with world-class faculty, hands-on learning and innovative ways to support academic and career success. Adelphi offers exceptional liberal arts and sciences programs and professional training, with particular strength in our Core Four-Arts and Humanities, STEM and Social Sciences, the Business and Education Professions, and Health and Wellness.

Recognized as a Best College by U.S. News & World Report, Adelphi is Long Island's oldest private coeducational university. It serves almost 8,000 students at its beautiful main campus in Garden City, New York-just 23 miles from New York City's cultural and internship opportunities-and at dynamic learning hubs in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley and Suffolk County, as well as online.

More than 116,000 Adelphi graduates have gained the skills to thrive professionally as active, engaged citizens, making their mark on the University, their communities and the world.