Wiesel to deliver speech

By Brittany Liberatore
September 15, 2006

Nobel Prize winner, author, professor and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel will be delivering the keynote address at Cabrini’s 2006 President’s Convocation. Wiesel’s appearance will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 4:30 p.m. in the Nerney Field House of the Dixon Center.

Wiesel is a man of many titles, one of which is author. He has written over 30 books including “Night,” an autobiographical account of Wiesel’s survival in the Nazi death camps. This book records the experience of Jewish people in the concentration camps. “Night,” considered by many to be one of the most important pieces in Holocaust literature, is a book that all incoming freshman were required to read for their college success seminar.

Last spring Cabrini, along with other colleges around the nation, took part in a panel about how to connect students in liberal learning as soon as they enter college. One of the schools that participated in the panel, Wofford College, located in South Carolina, spoke about its summer reading program which had received national attention. Interested, Cabrini discussed this program and realized it could be used here.

Dr.Charlie McCormick, dean for academic affairs, said, “We wanted a strong start; a great book with a renowned author who would come on campus.”

President Antoinette Iadarola wanted to use the book “Night” and invite Elie Wiesel to Cabrini. After Wiesel’s visit was set, “Night” was selected as the reading requirement for incoming freshman.

Caitlin Santora, a freshman undecided on her major, enjoyed “Night” so much she forgot she was reading it as a requirement. Santora said, “I began to just read it for pleasure, not as a requirement. ‘Night’ wasn’t the typical boring summer reading book. Wiesel’s story is so amazing.”

Alecia Weaver, a freshman special education major, saw “Night” as a huge eye opener to the horrific events of the Holocaust. She said, “It made me realize how horrible people can be, but on the other hand it made me realize how having a little faith in yourself and determination can push you through the worst situations.”

Wiesel, along with his wife, Marion, created The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity. According to the foundation’s website, the mission of the foundation, ingrained in the memory of the Holocaust, is to combat indifference, intolerance and injustice through international dialogue and youth-focused programs. The goal is to promote acceptance, understanding and equality.

Dr. McCormick believes that Wiesel’s visit is very important to the campus community. He said, “Wiesel’s message resonates with the mission of the college. As a learning community, we remind each other that it is important to not be silent and to stand up against oppression and injustice. Wiesel is a living example of how someone can use his or her voice in just these ways.”

Wiesel’s keynote address is open to the public. Admission is free, however seating is limited. To reserve tickets for this event call 610-902-1009 or visit Cabrini’s website, www.cabrini.edu/wiesel. To learn more about The Elie Wiesel Foundation, visit the website, www.eliewieselfoundation.org.

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Brittany Liberatore

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