Recordings of Convocations

Beginning with the 2012-2013 academic year, convocation audio files are archived separately from video files. View the audio archives.

  • Created 1 February 2008; Published 4 February 2008
    Convocation: Freeman Hrabowski

    At age 13, Freeman Hrabowski was arrested for participating in the children’s crusade to protest the jailing of Martin Luther King Jr. In college, he was the only black student at the University of Illinois. He went on to earn a PhD, co-author two books, become president of a university, and appear in a Spike Lee film. Currently the president of University of Maryland, Baltimore County and an authority on minority participation and performance in science and math education, Hrabowski's convocation address was titled “Leadership and the Role of Liberal Arts Colleges in Promoting High Achievement among Minorities.”

  • Created 25 January 2008; Published 4 February 2008
    Convocation: Robert McLaughlin
    Robert McLaughlin served a seven year prison sentence for a 1979 murder he did not commit. He was convicted based solely on the testimony of a 15-year-old eyewitness, despite a complete lack of physical evidence and a solid alibi backed up by four others. McLaughlin is not alone in his exoneration following unjust imprisonment. Over 200 people, at least ten of whom were on death row, have been exonerated in recent years. Since his release, McLaughlin has been outspoken about his experience, and now serves on the board of the Innocence Project of Minnesota (IPMN) as an advocate for others who remain in prison following false conviction. IPMN provides investigative and legal assistance to inmates, promotes substantive legal reforms to prevent future wrongful convictions, and works to raise public awareness about the prevalence and causes of wrongful conviction.
  • Created 18 January 2008; Published 28 January 2008
    Convocation: Judy Richardson

    Documentary filmmaker and Civil Rights activist Judy Richardson was the educational director behind the acclaimed PBS documentary film series “Eyes on the Prize.” Winner of the Peabody Award as well as several Emmys, the series presented a stunning picture of the fight to end segregation in America. Lauded by critics, historians and educators, the series combined archival footage and contemporary interviews with participants (including Richardson) in the struggle for and against Civil Rights, presenting a multi-faceted portrait of the movement. Richardson has spent a lifetime fighting for social justice and remains one of the most informative and moving voices on the African-American experience. The title of her presentation was "Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Lessons of the Civil Rights Movement."

  • Created 11 January 2008; Published 15 January 2008
    Convocation: Mark Seeley

    Mark Seeley is a professor in the Department of Soil, Water, and Climate at the University of Minnesota, where he has worked since 1978. He has done weekly commentary for Minnesota Public Radio since 1992. His extension educational programs relate weather/climate impacts to Minnesota agriculture, transportation, energy, tourism, and natural resources, and he has received several awards for his work with the deployment of living snow fences. Seeley edited a successful series of children's books called the Amazing Science Series and recently authored The Minnesota Weather Almanac, a 200-year history of Minnesota weather. The title of his presentation was "Climate Change in Minnesota: Evidence and Implications."

  • Created 4 January 2008; Published 15 January 2008
    Convocation: Jane Brody

    New York Times personal health columnist and best-selling author Jane Brody helped the Carleton community kick start their new year's resolutions with a special convocation address titled "Taking Charge of Your Health." Brody's widely read and quoted column, which appears in The Times' Science Times section and in scores of other newspapers around the country, earned her the title of "High Priestess of Health" from Time Magazine. She is also the author of several best-selling books, has written countless magazine articles and is a frequent lecturer on health and nutrition topics.

  • Created 2 November 2007; Published 8 November 2007
    Convocation: Ada E. Deer

    Native American advocate and scholar, Ada E. Deer recently retired as the director of the American Indian Studies program at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She is a member of the Menominee tribe and was the first member of her tribe to receive a master's degree. She also became the first woman chair of the Menominee Nation and the first woman to head the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs in the U.S. Department of Interior, where she helped set federal policy for more than 555 American Indian tribes nationwide. The title of her presentation was "Advocacy, Activism, and Action: Your Agenda for Tomorrow."

  • Created 26 October 2007; Published 1 November 2007
    Convocation: Steve Grove

    Head of News and Politics at YouTube, former Carleton student Steve Grove helped launch "You Choose '08," designed to educate, empower, and connect voters and presidential candidates through the power of online video. Millions of people have checked out the candidates' YouTube Channels, and thousands have communicated directly with those running for President via ratings, comments and video responses. Going one step further in leveling the political playing field was the CNN/YouTube debates where, for the first time in history, questions in a primary debate came straight from YouTube videos. The title of Grove's convocation address was "YouTube Politics: How the Internet is Changing Democracy."

  • Created 19 October 2007; Published 29 October 2007
    Convocation: Gillian Sorensen

    "We as a country are perceived by the rest of the world as a changed or diminished nation...if we wish to regain our reputation, to reassert responsible leadership and to earn trust, respect, and credibility, the question is: What do we do?" So begins the convocation address by Gillian Sorensen, Senior Advisor at the United Nations Foundation. A national advocate on matters related to the United Nations and the U.S. – U.N. relationship, Sorensen previously served as Assistant Secretary-General to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and as Special Advisor for Public Policy to Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali. The title of her address was "US and UN: Can this Marriage be Saved?"

  • Created 12 October 2007; Published 22 October 2007
    Convocation: 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 2008
    Convocation: 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 2007
    Convocation: 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 2007
    Convocation: 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 2007
    Opening 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 2007
    Common 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 2007
    Convocation: Campaign Announcement

    "Breaking Barriers, Creating Connections: The Campaign for Carleton." Exciting announcement of Carleton's fund-raising campaign, with creative surprises from students.

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