May 27, 2005 • Volume 13 Number 18

Senator Barack Obama Is Choice for First Year Convocation Event

US Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.), whose keynote speech at last summer's Democratic National Convention propelled him into the American political spotlight, will be the guest speaker for the second Boston College First Year Convocation in September.

Obama will center his talk on his 1995 autobiography, Dreams From My Father, which has enjoyed new popularity since his convention appearance and subsequent election to the Senate. As part of the First Year Convocation, all students entering this fall's freshman class will be expected to read and reflect on the book during the summer.

"Senator Obama is a great speaker, very dynamic and engaging," said First Year Experience Program Director Fr. Joseph Marchese. "In Dreams From My Father, he has written a book with profound insights into highly important issues of race, identity and community. We believe he will offer our incoming students a most positive beginning to their academic, personal and spiritual formation at Boston College."

The First Year Convocation debuted last fall as part of an effort by the University to promote campus rituals and traditions. Members of the Class of 2008 took part in a processional to Conte Forum, where they heard a talk by Dr. Paul Farmer, who received an honorary degree at Monday's Commencement Exercises. The students had been assigned to read Tracy Kidder's book about Farmer, Mountains Beyond Mountains, in preparation for the event.

Details on the 2005 First Year Convocation will be announced at a later date.

-Sean Smith

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