Welcome Back: Thousands Return for Alumni Weekend
Zinn Lecture: Bill Moyers speaks of nation’s “plutocracy”| From Alumni Notes | By Cynthia K. Buccini and John O’Rourke. Slideshow by Amy Laskowski
Watch scenes from Alumni Weekend 2010 in the slideshow above.
A record number of alumni returned to campus for Alumni Weekend, October 29–31. More than 4,000 alums and their families came back to catch up with classmates, attend open houses and classes led by star faculty, take campus tours, and enjoy parties, luncheons, and receptions.
In one of the weekend’s marquee events, veteran journalist Bill Moyers delivered the Howard Zinn Memorial Lecture. It was the first lecture in the annual series following the death in January of Zinn, the political activist and author who taught for 24 years in the College of Arts & Sciences political science department.
Moyers spoke movingly of Zinn, noting that he had interviewed the activist for his PBS show, Bill Moyers’ Journal, just a month before his death. “For Howard,” Moyers said, “democracy was one great public fight, and everyone could get in on it.”
Moyers focused on the challenges facing democracy and spoke of “the two Americas” that define the country. He decried what he says has been a 30-year trend toward plutocracy, where the rich get richer at the expense of the average citizen, where a “buoyant Wall Street” exists alongside a “doleful Main Street,” and where government has been “bought off” by industries and corporate titans who “have ensured that government does their bidding.”
Despite the serious subject of the lecture, the Emmy–and Peabody Award–winning broadcaster punctuated many of his points with humor. Toward the end of the evening, returning to his old friend Zinn, Moyers said, “I can hear Howard asking us, ‘What are we going to do? Organize!’”
The weekend also featured the presentation of Alumni Awards, the President’s Panel, hosted by President Robert A. Brown, titled Challenges of Healthcare—Perspectives on Our Future; as well as Alumni College classes, open houses, campus tours, and a party for affinity groups, such as BU Bands, ROTC, the Community Service Center, resident assistants, and black, Latino, and LGBT alumni.
Elena Quattrone (SAR’08, SPH’09) attended Alumni Weekend to see old friends. As a BU student, she worked in the Student Activities Office, was a member of the Student Union executive board, and served as a resident assistant and cochair of the Senior Class Gift Campaign. “It’s a good opportunity to reconnect with a lot of people,” Quattrone said. “I love BU.”