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Youth in Action

A New Birth of Freedom

Birth of Freedom

For the past several years, the Colleges have invited a number of distinguished guests to campus to reflect on their work and share expertise. These have included some of the most influential men and women of the past century, many of whom spoke about issues reflected in this year’s Inaugural Theme – “A New Birth of Freedom” – as well as the Civil Rights Struggle.

Known as one of the most courageous leaders the Civil Rights Movement ever produced, Congressman John R. Lewis (D-GA), who spoke at the March on Washington with Martin Luther King Jr., delivered the 2007 Convocation Address.

Advancing the power of idea-driven activism, public intellectual and author Eric Liu delivered the 2008 Convocation Address.

Madeleine K. Albright served as the 64th Secretary of State of the United States. She was the first woman to hold the job and is the highest-ranking woman in U.S. history. She is the recipient of the Elizabeth Blackwell Award and was the 2001 Convocation Speaker.

The 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and founder of The Green Belt Movement, Dr. Wangari Maathai Sc.D.’94, P ’94, P ’96 is an international authority on sustainable development, human rights and activism. She is a recipient of the Elizabeth Blackwell Award and spoke at the Colleges as part of the President’s Forum Series.