Legendary Coach Herman Boone, from which the major motion picture “Remember the Titans” is based, will be speaking in the Nerney Field House at the Dixon Center on Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. to kick-off Cultural Kaleidoscope Week.
In an effort to help tackle various diversity issues on campus, the senior class board is taking giant steps forward by bringing Coach Boone to campus to share his words of wisdom regarding diversity and the importance of perseverance. The address, entitled “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” will be open to the general public free of charge. Coach Boone was the first African American head football coach at T.C. Williams, one of the first integrated high schools in Alexandria, Va. after the 1955 Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision.
For years now Cabrini College under the guidance of Diversity Initiatives has been working towards bringing a more diversified outlook of the campus to its students. As students of all backgrounds look for a common ground to stand upon, the office of Diversity Initiatives, run by Shirley Dixon, looks for a stepping-stone for students to start with. “This event is a great start to help tackle the issue of diversity we have on this campus, the seniors have taken a real initiative in regards to this matter,” Jason Bozzone, director of student activities, said. Coach Boone’s speech will be the kick-off of Cultural Kaleidoscope Week to help bring a weeklong calendar of activities that will promote diversity among the students.
The senior class board originally approached Bozzone in September of 2002 with the idea in mind that they would begin the process of searching for a commencement speaker early. Bozzone notified the class board of the commencement speaker decision but suggested hosting another event with a speaker from their list of possible candidates for commencement, Coach Boone being one of them.
“The senior class board wanted to do something special for 100 nights before graduation, which fell in early February,” Gina Roswell, senior class board vice president, said. “With February being Black History Month and Coach Boone only being able to come on Feb. 17, which is the start of Cultural Kaleidoscope Week, everything seemed all too perfect. It would have been absurd for us not to take advantage of the seemingly obvious opportunity.”
For the last seven months the senior class board along with Diversity Initiatives, Student Activities, Residence Life, the Athletic Department, the Marketing and Communications Department for the college and various other offices have worked side by side to iron out all details and complications to make this event possible. “Our senior class board, in association with the Diversity Initiatives and Student Activities, worked very hard on this event in hopes of producing a wonderful evening for Cabrini students and faculty, as well as the surrounding community members and colleges,” Roswell said.
“I think that Coach Boone’s appearance speaks very highly of our senior class, not to mention our school. With the seniors having 100 nights until graduation, it says so much for us to bring such a renowned figure in diversity to our campus as part of our celebration of the culmination of our college careers,” Rowell said.
Coach Boone’s speech is due to start at 7 p.m. after a performance by the Cabrini College Dance Team and will be followed by a Q & A and autograph session. For more information regarding Cultural Kaleidoscope Week please visit Shirley Dixon in the Diversity Initiatives office on the second floor of the Widener Center.