This year’s recipient of the Urbana High School Distinguished Alumni Award is Beth Macy, a 1982 graduate of UHS.
Macy is also the first woman to receive the Urbana High School Distinguished Alumni Award.
After graduating from high school, she received her bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University in journalism and did an internship at the Urbana Daily Citizen.
She received her master’s degree from Hollis University, was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard in 2010 and was short-listed for the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in non-fiction.
Macy was a reporter for the Roanoke Times in Virginia from 1989 to 2014.
While at the Roanoke Times, she wrote articles for the New York Times as well as other journals and magazines.
Her non-fiction books, “Factory Man,” “Truevine” and “Dopesick,” have each been on the New York Times best-seller list.
“Dopesick” is a study of the crisis of opioid addiction and is being made into a Hulu mini-series starring Michael Keaton.
Her fourth book, The Fix, will be out next year. This one deals with solutions to the overdose crisis.
Macy was the first in her family to graduate from college and credits her late mother Sarah Macy Slack for her grit.
She also credits much of her success to her UHS band teacher, Robert K. Martin, and her early jobs at the Urbana Daily Citizen, where she delivered the paper and later interned as a cub reporter.
When she is not writing or touring promoting her newest book, she lives in Roanoke, Va., with her husband, who is a teacher, and two rescue dogs.