OK, so it isn’t really her, it’s a life-size cutout of her holding an invitation to tonight’s Voices of Our Time event. Voices of Our Time is a speaker series where we bring national and international thought leaders to campus to talk about key issues and ideas of the day.
Tonight’s speakers are a husband and wife team of nationally-known journalists: Al Hunt (a 1965 WFU graduate and member of the Board of Trustees) and Judy Woodruff. If you are political wonk, you will recognize both as frequent contributors to political news: Al Hunt is the Executive Washington Editor for Bloomberg News, and Judy Woodruff is Senior Correspondent and Co-Anchor for The PBS NewsHour and Anchor of Conversations with Judy Woodruff on Bloomberg Television. Another very important distinction is that – like you – they are parents of a Wake Forest student.
Tonight they will be in Wait Chapel at 6 pm, speaking on the intertwining of political, cultural and journalistic life in Washington; they will also share personal insights on raising a family in our nation’s capital. This is free and open to the public. Please tell your students to come – and its open to parents too!
I have heard Al Hunt speak on several occasions at Wake Forest and he is always interesting and always gives a very lively and smart talk. The most memorable was before the 2008 presidential election – he gave a speech to a group of our volunteer board and council members at a WFU leadership conference about the election and there was a lively Q&A that followed. He was candid and forthright and gave a true insider’s perspective on candidates and possibilities. I felt like I was sitting on the set of Meet the Press. Which in a way was quite apropos – Al Hunt was extremely close to the late and great Tim Russert, whom he had recruited to be our Commencement speaker. Sadly, Russert died that very year and so he never got to campus to do it.
Your students should flock to hear Judy Woodruff and Al Hunt, regardless of your students’ political persuasion, because this is a wonderful opportunity for an educational moment here. I have not had the chance to meet Judy Woodruff, but once I got to drive Al Hunt to and from the airport for a WFU event, and he very cheerfully let me pepper him with questions about DC and politics for more than an hour. My lasting impression was that this is a person who enjoys intelligent discussion and debate and was willing to share his knowledge with someone much younger. In true Wake Forest fashion, he gave personal attention and shared what he knew to help another curious mind.
I hope to see your students there tonight.
PS – if your students want to see Barack Obama, Joe Biden, George Bush and others who are ‘visiting campus’ like Michelle Obama, tell them to look in the library, the bookstore, the Benson Center…