2013-2014 Convocations Schedule

The weekly convocation series is a shared campus experience that brings students, faculty, and staff together for one hour for a lecture or presentation from specialists in a variety of disciplines.  The goal of the convocation series is to stimulate thought and conversation on a wide range of subjects. Convocations are open to the public and free of charge.

You are invited to participate in the convocation program in a variety of ways:

  • The best way is to personally attend the weekly convocations and ask a question of the speaker.
  • If you are unable to attend in person, convocations are streamed live and available for on-demand viewing afterward by tuning in here.  (Please note that there may be occasions when the speaker does not allow us to do this.)
  • Recordings of past convocations have been archived here.  Videos of many past convocations are also in the Gould Library collection.
  • Carleton students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to submit suggestions for future convocation speakers with this online form.


May 17

Convocation: Randy Cohen

Former ethics columnist for New York Times Magazine skillfully blends moral authority and humor.

Friday, May 17th, 2013
10:50 – 11:50 am / Skinner Chapel
Cohen Convocation

Every week for over a decade in his column on ethics, Randy Cohen took on conundrums presented in letters from perplexed people who wanted to do the right thing (or hope to get away with doing the wrong thing), and responded with a skillful blend of moral authority and humor.  The wisdom and witticisms of the man behind the New York Times Magazine’s immensely popular column "The Ethicist" have been gathered in his book The Good, the Bad & The Difference – regarded as a combination of "Dear Abby," Plato, and Mel Brooks.  Cohen has also won four Emmy awards, three as a writer for Late Night with David Letterman.  He was the original head writer on The Rosie O’Donnell Show and has been a guest on Good Morning America. His work has also appeared in Slate magazine, The New Yorker, The Washington Post and other publications.  Cohen explores the question:  If we can reach a rough consensus on right and wrong (don't like, don't cheat, don't steal), why don't we all behave virtuously?  Suggesting the answer lies not in our characters but our circumstances, Cohen discusses how to create the kind of communities – in our neighborhoods, our schools, our businesses – in which we are likely to behave admirably.  The title of his presentation is "How To Be Good."

Sponsored by College Relations. Contact: Kerry Raadt, College Relations, x4308