Six Events to Check Out at Alumni Weekend 2021
A guide to free offerings open to the entire BU community
The pandemic may have forced last year’s Alumni Weekend to go fully virtual, but thanks to vaccines and masking, alums are being welcomed back to a bustling campus this year. Alumni Weekend 2021, which runs through Sunday, October 3, will feature awards ceremonies, receptions, lectures, and a riverboat cruise on the Charles for Golden Terriers. While many events will be in person again, most will also be streamed online for those who would prefer to attend remotely. And good news—many events are free and open to students, faculty, and staff, although registration is required. Check out six highlights below.
BU’s Center for Antiracist Research will host the symposium What the Science Tells Us: Racial Health and Economic Inequities during the Pandemic, with opening remarks from President Robert A. Brown and Ibram X. Kendi, Boston University’s Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities, founder and director of BU’s Center for Antiracist Research, and best-selling author of How to Be an Antiracist. Kendi is one of this year’s 25 MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant recipients, announced September 28. The symposium will also include a series of fireside discussions on topics such as Racism as a Public Health Emergency: The Call for Urgent Action, featuring panelist Rochelle P. Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Other panelists for the afternoon’s fireside sessions include Marcella Nunez-Smith, senior advisor to the White House COVID-19 Response Team and chair of the Presidential COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, and Reshma Kewalramani (CAS’98, MED’98), chief executive officer and president of Vertex Pharmaceuticals. The symposium is supported by the Vertex Foundation.
Friday, October 1, 1:30 to 5:30 pm
Location: Metcalf Hall and online (you can indicate which fireside keynotes and panels you plan to join when signing up)
The popular Tastes of BU event has gone global for a second year. Visit this list of alumni-owned food businesses, place an order at one of them between Wednesday, September 29, and Sunday, October 3, snap a picture of the food or drink you purchased, and then dig in. Make sure to follow @bualumni on Instagram so you can post your photo with #TastesofBU. You’ll be entered to win a prize (your Instagram account must be public to participate).
Ray Fisman, BU’s Slater Family Professor in Behavioral Economics, is the speaker at the 2021 Gitner Family Lecture. He will discuss how special interests influence politics beyond traditional campaign donations, focusing on the use of corporate philanthropy to influence America’s legislators and regulators. Fisman has been widely interviewed by news outlets such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and The Economist.
Wednesday, September 29, 6 to 7:30 pm
Location: Stone Science Auditorium and online
Peter Raimondi (MET’80, LAW’83) will deliver the MET Distinguished Lecture “The Muse as Inspiration in Photography.” Raimondi, an avid photographer, will discuss works by major 20th-century master photographers such as Alfred Stieglitz, Emmet Gowin, and Edward Weston, along with his own portraits of his wife, Chris, focusing on how these works depict their central source of inspiration—the muse.
Thursday, September 30, 6 to 7:30 pm
The Boston University Symphony Orchestra will give its first public performance since the pandemic began. This also marks the BU concert debut of James Burton, a College of Fine Arts master lecturer in music, as BU’s director of orchestral activities. Burton is the choral director for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus as well.
Friday, October 1, 8 to 10 pm
Location: Tsai Performance Center; the event will also be livestreamed here.