A Project of Boston College Magazine

First Year Academic Convocation

Tracy Kidder, Paul Farmer

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Format: Lecture

Length: 58 minutes

Boston College’s inaugural academic convocation for first year students takes its theme from the words of St. Ignatius: "Go set the world aflame." University President William P. Leahy, SJ, welcomes the Class of 2008 and introduces featured speakers Tracy Kidder, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Mountains Beyond Mountains (a book that was provided to each incoming freshman), and Paul Farmer, MD, a Harvard professor and an infectious disease specialist at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, whose "moral adventure" is the subject of the book.

Kidder explains why he holds up Farmer as an exemplar, outlining the medical work the doctor has done in Haiti since the 1980s. A 1993 MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" recipient, Farmer is the founder of Partners In Health, a charitable organization that provides medical care in economically disadvantaged regions of the world. In his own talk, Farmer comments on the choices he has made in his life and career, and urges the freshmen to "resist the temptation to close off those who are less fortunate than we are."

Presenter(s): Tracy Kidder, Paul Farmer

Date: September 14, 2004

Location: Conte Forum, Boston College

Sponsor(s): Office of First Year Experience

URL: http://frontrow.bc.edu/program/fcon/

The information on this page is accurate as of September 2004