With the approach of the College’s Bicentennial in 2015, we have a wonderful opportunity to build our Bicentennial celebration around principles and aspirations historically central to the College, combining resources to create programs and invite speakers who celebrate our history.
To illustrate Allegheny’s integral role in our nation’s history, we plan to connect many of our Bicentennial events to two anniversaries. Our general thematic focus next year is inspired by the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act in 2014. The 50th anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act will occasion college programming in 2014-2015. While taking a broad approach to celebrating the College’s history, we will also turn our attention to the stories of Alleghenians and others who helped to influence two of the most important democratic movements of our time.
The thrust of the years’ programming will not be exclusively commemorative. We will celebrate the founding of the College and the commitments and accomplishments it enabled for so many Alleghenians in the past two centuries. But in the spirit of these three anniversaries, campus-wide events will also confront current forms of injustice and disenfranchisement, locally, nationally, and across the globe, and explore the role the College and its future alumni can play in redressing these problems.
Through broad input from the college community, we are putting together a schedule of speakers and programs that we think will engage and energize the entire campus. We are excited to announce that keynote speakers will include civil rights icon Julian Bond on November 15. Mr. Bond last visited Allegheny in 1976, when he was the keynote speaker at a workshop organized by the Allegheny Association of Black Collegians. In April of next year another national leader in the field of civil rights, Bryan Stevenson, founder and director of the Equal Justice Initiative, will give a keynote address. The schedule will include many others, including alumni and other members of our college community.
Brian Harward and Ben Slote
Co-chairs for Annual Programming, 2013-2015
Updated: May 15, 2013