A Project of Boston College Magazine

First Year Academic Convocation

Barack Obama


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Format: Lecture followed by Q&A

Length: 47 minutes

Boston College's second annual academic convocation for first-year students features a keynote address by Barack Obama, the Democratic senator from Illinois whose passionate speech about the promise of America, delivered at the 2004 Democratic National Convention while he was still a state senator, seized the country's attention. He explores the question of empathy—how far an individual's obligations extend to the wider community—and the forging of one's own identity, drawing lessons from current events, such as the government's response to Hurricane Katrina, and from his 1995 autobiography, Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance (Random House, 1997).

University President William P. Leahy, SJ, welcomes the Class of 2009 and introduces the senator, whom he holds up as a model of “a contemplative in action,” whose career illustrates the oft-cited ideal at Boston College of “men and women for others.”

Presenter(s): Barack Obama, President Leahy, S.J.

Date: September 16, 2005

Location: Conte Forum, Boston College

Sponsor(s): Office of First Year Experience

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

The information on this page is accurate as of September 2005