Recordings of Convocations
Beginning with the 2012-2013 academic year, convocation audio files are archived separately from video files. View the audio archives.
- Created 12 October 2007; Published 22 October 2007Convocation: David Wilson
David Wilson is the founding director of California's enigmatic Museum of Jurassic Technology. The museum itself is a work of conceptual art, and its catalog includes a mixture of artistic and scientific exhibits that evokes the cabinets of curiosities that were the 18th century predecessors of modern natural history museums. Wilson's convocation address, titled "The Eye of the Needle," focused on an appreciation of human artistry and ingenuity on a microscopic scale, including an artist who carved a likeness of Pope John Paul II from a single strand of human hair and placed it within the eye of a needle.
- Created 5 October 2007; Published 25 January 2008Convocation: Doc Evans Centennial Jazz Band
Former Prairie Home Companion house pianist and bandleader Butch Thompson led an all-star group in celebration of what would have been the 100th birthday of nationally renowned jazz musician Paul "Doc" Evans. A 1929 graduate of Carleton, Evans made it big in the 1940s with a pair of recordings that launched him onto the national scene. He was a prominent musician in Chicago's jazz scene before his career went national with tours and engagements across the country. The title of the presentation was "An Introduction to Traditional Jazz."
- Created 28 September 2007; Published 2 October 2007Convocation: Lupe Ontiveros
"One Woman's Journey." Award-winning actress, producer, activist, and visionary Lupe Ontiveros is a woman who makes a difference. She has appeared on stage, screen and television, and her role in "Desperate Housewives" made her the only Latina nominated for an Emmy in 2005. But acting is Ontiveros' second career. A graduate of Texas Woman's University, she spent 18 years as a social worker in East Los Angeles and Compton where she worked with the Head Start program, senior citizens and developmentally disabled children. It was during this time that she became involved with issues involving women and education. She established a development consulting service to assist corporate America in funding nonprofit organizations that address the issue of domestic violence. In addition, she produced "Una Vez Al Ano Para toda Una Vida" (Once a Year for a Lifetime), an award-winning educational film focusing on the need for breast cancer awareness among Latinas.
- Created 21 September 2007; Published 25 September 2007Convocation: Paula Vogel
"I'm here to proselytize. I'm here to deliver a sales pitch on the urgency of making art central to all of us as citizen participators in this country." Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel began her convocation address—titled "The Necessity of Art / The Impossibility of Art"—by encouraging students to "take very seriously your capacity for creating art here, as undergraduates at Carleton college." A passionate speaker, Vogel is known for exploring controversial topics in her work, such as domestic abuse, gender roles and stereotyping, pornography, and AIDS. Reviewers have commended her humor, compassion, and creative approach to sensitive issues, and she has received several prestigious awards and grants for her work, including the Pulitzer Prize in 1998 for her play "How I Learned to Drive."
- Created 10 September 2007; Published 24 September 2007Opening Convocation: Emily Barr ’80
Emily Barr ’80, president and general manager of WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago delivered the address at Carleton College’s opening convocation for the 2007-08 school year. In her talk, titled “Oh, The Places You’ll Go! (With Apologies to Dr. Seuss)," Barr assured students that the essential qualities of Carleton students—passion, a good attitude, flexibility and a sense of humor—will serve them well in the world beyond college. Armed with a BA in film studies from Carleton, Barr began her career in broadcasting in 1980 as a news editor at KSTP-TV in St. Paul, Minn. She earned an M.B.A. in 1986 from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. In 1997 she became the first woman president of an ABC television station, and under her leadership WLS-TV has become the top-rated station in the Chicago market. A Carleton Alumni Trustee from 2002 to 2006, Barr has received multiple honors for her civic involvement in the Chicago community, where she serves on multiple boards and foundations.
- Created 6 September 2007; Published 25 September 2007Common Reading Convocation: Mountains Beyond Mountains
On September 6, 2007, the Class of 2011 and other members of the Carleton community gathered for the annual Common Reading Convocation and afterward engaged in small group discussions based upon Tracy Kidder's "Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World." Paul Farmer is a doctor, Harvard professor, renowned infectious-disease specialist, anthropologist, the recipient of a MacArthur "genius" grant, and world-class Robin Hood. In medical school he found his life's calling: to diagnose and cure infectious diseases and to bring the lifesaving tools of modern medicine to those who need them most. Kidder's magnificent book shows how radical change can be fostered in situations that seem insurmountable, and it also shows how a meaningful life can be created, as Farmer blasts through convention to get results. The convocation features remarks by President Rob Oden and former Peace Corps volunteers Joseph Chihade, Associate Professor of Chemistry, and Patrick Ganey, Carleton Development Officer), as well as Amenah Babar '05, a graduate student at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.
- Created 30 May 2007; Published 30 May 2007Convocation: Campaign Announcement
"Breaking Barriers, Creating Connections: The Campaign for Carleton." Exciting announcement of Carleton's fund-raising campaign, with creative surprises from students.
- Created 25 May 2007; Published 4 June 2007Honors Convocation: David Appleyard
The Honors Convocation is held each year on the last Friday of spring term to recognize faculty and students for their accomplishments and their service to the community. This year's address was delivered by David Appleyard, the Lloyd P. Johnson Norwest Professor of Mathematics, Computer Science and the Liberal Arts. Professor Appleyard received his bachelor's degree in mathematics from Carleton in 1961. He earned his master's and doctorate degrees from the University of Wisconsin at Madison before returning to teach mathematics at Carleton in 1966. He also served as Carleton’s dean of students from 1977 to 1983. The title of Professor Appleyard's address was "'Remember Old Pete!' and Other Life Lessons".
Please note: The two smaller files below contain Professor Appleyard's address only, in your choice of format; the larger files contain the full convocation.
- Created 11 May 2007; Published 14 May 2007Convocation: Steven Levitt
"Beyond Freakonomics." University of Chicago Economics Professor Steven Levitt argues that many apparent mysteries of everyday life don't need to be so mysterious. They could be illuminated and made even more fascinating by asking the right questions and drawing connections. His book, "Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything," was a New York Times bestseller. Levitt attended St. Paul Academy and Summit School in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he led the quiz bowl team to nationals two years in a row, graduated from Harvard University and received his Ph.D. from MIT. Levitt was chosen as one of Time Magazine's "100 People Who Shape Our World" in 2006.
- Created 4 May 2007; Published 14 May 2007Convocation: Parry Shen
Chinese American actor Parry Shen graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a degree in marketing and minors in media studies and public relations/advertising. After interning on the business side of the entertainment industry with Marvel Comics and HBO, Shen decided to exit the humdrum business world and set out to California to find work in front of the camera. Three years into his career, Shen was almost about to give up on acting when he took a job waiting tables at Applebee's. On his first day bussing tables, a casting company tracked him down at the neighborhood eatery to inform him that he had landed a lead role in "The New Guy." He was whisked away nine hours later for a two-month shoot in Austin, Texas. Shen worked three hours at the restaurant and still has a paycheck of $20.13 waiting for him. Shen is perhaps best known as the lead in the 2002 movie "Better Luck Tomorrow." He has had a variety of film and television roles and has been featured on "Entertainment Tonight" and "Extra" as well as in Premiere, Rolling Stone, VIBE, People Magazine, The L.A. Times and The Wall street Journal. Shen is an acting professor at his alma mater and in his spare time tours universities, demystifying the acting business to colleges students across the country.
- Created 27 April 2007; Published 14 May 2007Convocation: Jacob Lief
"Ubuntu: A Community Approach to Sustainable Development in Africa." Two men of different race and generation - one South African, one American - are partners in a common cause. From a chance meeting in South Africa in 1998, Jacob Lief and Banks Gwaxula came to realize that they shared more than a common interest in soccer. The two shared an abiding belief in the power of education. During a trip to South Africa in the summer before his senior year of college, Lief was invited by Banks to live in his home as family and work with him as a teacher in his township school. Through this experience, he learned that the township schools lacked resources taken for granted in even the poorest communities in the United States. He also witnessed firsthand people overcoming the desperation of poverty through the power of community. In the Xhosa language of South Africa, the word ubuntu refers to the belief in a universal bond of brotherhood and sharing. So it is fitting that when, six months later, Lief created a non-profit organization to improve education conditions in the black townships of that country, he named it the Ubuntu Education Fund. Today Ubuntu is reaching over 40,000 children with life-saving health and educational resources and services.
- Created 20 April 2007; Published 23 April 2007Convocation: Stuart Gibson
"A Cultural Ambassador in the Context of Global Citizenship." During periods of social crisis, culture is frequently marginalized as inconsequential. Nevertheless, it can play a vital role in promoting stability during difficult economic and political transitions. Stuart Gibson is a fine arts and cultural heritage consultant who specializes in assisting cultural organizations and governments during economic and political transition, advising governments on how to save their national treasures. In addition, Gibson is the director of the UNESCO Hermitage Project in St. Petersburg, Russia, described by the Russian government as one of the most successful cultural projects undertaken by the United Nations in Russia. The State Hermitage Museum is one of the largest, oldest, most important and famous art galleries and museums of human history and culture in the world. UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes international collaboration through education, science, and culture. Using the former Soviet Union and the Middle East as primary examples, Gibson will explain how cultural diplomacy can be used as a tool in overcoming political and economic isolation.
- Created 13 April 2007; Published 23 April 2007Convocation: Benjamin Friedman
"The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth." Harvard University economist Benjamin Friedman argues that economic growth, far from fostering rapacious materialism, is a prerequisite for the creation of a liberal, open society. He contends that periods of robust economic growth, in which most people see their circumstances palpably improving, foster tolerance, democracy and generous public support for the disadvantaged. Economic stagnation and insecurity, by contrast, usher in distrust, retrenchment and reaction, as well as a tightfisted callousness toward the poor and a scapegoating of immigrants and minorities. Exploring two centuries of historical evidence, Friedman elucidates connections between economic conditions, social attitudes and public policy throughout the world.
- Created 6 April 2007; Published 16 April 2007Convocation: Nancy Baron
"The Search for Global Responsibility: What Is Our Role?" Offering a voice of hope for children impacted by war and violence, Nancy Baron is an educator and leading consultant on the effects of trauma and conflict. In 1989, after many years working as a family therapist and professor in the United States, Baron decided to make a life change. She first moved to Tokyo, Japan and with colleagues there established the Counseling Center of Tokyo. This was her first humbling immersion into a culture far different than her own. After leaving Tokyo, she entered the world of aid and development in Sri Lanka. Since then, she has become a leading consultant on the mental health effects of trauma and conflict as the Director of Global Psycho-Social Initiatives (GPSI). She now travels the world providing help and new direction for communities seeking to rebuild hope, peace and well-being during and after wars and disasters. Her presentation provides both an inspiring message and practical tools for finding courage, building peace and making a difference in the world.
- Created 30 March 2007; Published 16 April 2007Convocation: Lynn Gottlieb
"Islam and Judaism: A Rabbi Finds Common Ground." Co-founder with Abdul Rauf Campos Marquetti of the Muslim-Jewish PeaceWalk, Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb has co-organized 16 peacewalk gatherings throughout the United States and Canada. She also directs Interfaith Inventions Wilderness Peace Camps, is a national council member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, a performing artist, author and peace activist. One of the first ten women in Jewish history to become a rabbi, she has served as a congregational rabbi for 32 years. Throughout her career she has devoted herself to interfaith peacemaking. In addition to her book, "She Who Dwells Within: A Feminist Vision of a Renewed Judaism," she has written numerous articles on women’s studies, peacemaking, and interfaith work. Her presentation explores how, in an atmosphere of war and fear, we can create positive relationships that promote peace.