Best-selling author Sara Gruen to speak at PSU Weekend
Author: Scott Gallagher
Posted: October 4, 2011

UPDATE (Oct. 20): Due to illness, Sara Gruen is unable to speak at PSU Weekend. Ticket holders will be notified and refunded the full amount. For additional information, please call 503-725-4948. 

Sara Gruen, best-selling author of “Water for Elephants,” which was made into a major motion picture, will be the keynote speaker at PSU Weekend, Portland State University’s annual community-wide open house.

Gruen will speak at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, at the Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom, 1825 S.W. Broadway.  Tickets are $20, and can be purchased online, at the door, or in advance at the PSU alumni office.  For online purchases, go to  The alumni office is located at the Simon Benson House at 1803 S.W. Park, and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Gruen’s “Water for Elephants,” became an instant hit when it was published in 2006. The New York Times best-seller is now available in 44 languages and has more than 3 million copies in print worldwide. A film version of the book starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson was released this spring.

Her most recent book is “Ape House,” which was published in 2010.  A devoted animal lover, Gruen’s intense study of communications techniques with apes gave her rare access to the Great Ape Trust in Des Moines, IA, for the book’s research.  The novel’s compelling plot tells the story of a number of apes kidnapped from a language laboratory.  Their mysterious appearance on a reality TV show calls into question our assumptions about these animals, who share 99.4 percent of our DNA. 

Gruen’s talk is the kickoff event for PSU Weekend, a unique community-wide event sponsored by the PSU Alumni Association that welcomes more than 1,200 friends, alumni, and neighbors to campus for an educational and entertaining weekend. For more information about PSU Weekend events, including attending free lectures, go to

About Portland State University (PSU)
Located in Portland, Oregon, PSU has about 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students. PSU’s motto is “Let Knowledge Serve the City,” and it provides every student with opportunities to work with businesses, schools and organizations on real-world projects. Its downtown campus exhibits PSU’s commitment to sustainability through green buildings and business practice. Sustainability is incorporated into much of PSU’s curriculum.