Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hoosier Nation Brings Celebrities to Campus

When I first toured IU, I was incredibly impressed with the outstanding academics, but nervous about the size of the university. Setting aside the fact that I never feel like I attend a public university with an undergraduate enrollment of over 20,000 students, there are some benefits to attending a large public university.

A school that has an enrollment of over 20,000 students means they have an enormous alumni network, and the Hoosier Nation is not only large, but very giving. Both the Kelley School of Business and School of Journalism have fantastic alumni networks that donate annually to the school, helping to fund many extra-curricular programs and other events. Oftentimes, events include bringing in celebrity or expert speakers to talk about current issues.

Last week I had the pleasure of attending two such events. The Journalism Speaker Series kicked off last week with a lecture by Wall Street Journal columnist Jeffrey Zaslow, who also co-wrote "The Last Lecture" with former Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch. Zaslow gave a very inspiring lecture on how journalism students can find and follow good stories, and spoke at most length about his work on "The Last Lecture". I ended my week by attending a Kelley School of Business lecture by Oil Tycoon and Billionaire T. Boone Pickens. Pickens discussed his rise to success as he developed two billion dollar companies, and his recent business venture in alternative energy sources.

If it were not for the donations of the very large, and incredibly giving Kelley School of Business and School of Journalism alumni network, I never would have gotten to experience the in-person and personal stories of these two successful men. Going to these interesting lectures is just one of the different types of events that students can attend at IU for FREE!

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