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Anderson Cooper Visits the University of Rochester

By: Stefanie

Cooper_anderson_web The University of Rochester’s Meliora Weekend, our alumni weekend and homecoming, was held October 16-19.  It was a wonderful time to gather current undergraduate and graduate students, their parents, faculty, and staff, and welcome back alumni for a weekend filled with fun and informative activities.  When I heard the keynote speaker was going to be Anderson Cooper, Emmy Award-winning journalist, author, and CNN anchor, I rushed to register for the event as I knew it was going to be a popular one.  And sure enough, both the live presentation and the simulcast sold out very quickly.

A buzz was in the air of the Palestra leading up to when Mr. Cooper was introduced.  And when he came out on stage it was to heavy applause.  It is always exciting to see someone who you normally see on TV live in person in the same room as you. 

I knew I was in for a treat, but I was really surprised to learn how funny this man truly is.  He started off his talk by telling us that when he graduated from college, he applied for a job but was turned down.  So he decided to make his own luck.  He went ahead and borrowed a friend’s video camera, made a fake press pass and bought a one-way ticket to Somalia!  Who does that?  And to make the story even better – he didn’t even line up a place to stay.  He wouldn’t recommend that anyone follow his lead in doing this – but for him it worked.  The rest of his talk was a mixture of stories from his travels, talking about his constant quest to educate his viewers about the world’s happenings – whether they are popular topics or not – and giving advice to us that everyone can make a difference.  He ended by taking numerous questions from the audience.  And we sent him off with a resounding standing ovation.

I thoroughly enjoyed his talk and wished it could have been longer quite frankly.  If you ever have the chance to see him – definitely take the opportunity!

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