Brooks/Bruni Event (September 13, 2017)

September 13, 2017 by Office of the President


To the Bowdoin campus community,

I am very pleased to announce an upcoming event at the College designed to encourage and model open and respectful discussion and debate on controversial and challenging issues.

On Monday evening, October 2, Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute and a leading conservative voice in America, will join Frank Bruni of The New York Times for a discussion in Pickard Theater moderated by our own Jean Yarbrough​, the Gary M. Pendy Sr. Professor of Social Sciences. 

Titled “Talking Face to Face When We Don’t See Eye to Eye,” the event is a chance for Bowdoin students, as well as faculty and staff, to consider different points of view on a variety of subjects, to engage with two thoughtful commentators who have quite different world views, and to ask their own questions during what should be a fascinating and informative evening. 

A key part of the evening—as it was last year when we presented a similar program with The New York Times’s Nicholas Kristof and The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Riley—will take place after the Pickard discussion, when students in attendance will be invited to meet in small groups over refreshments in Thorne Hall to share what they heard and learned and to interact more closely with Mr. Brooks and Mr. Bruni.

Students will be given preference for tickets to the discussion in Pickard, with a block set aside for faculty and staff, and additional details about the event and post-event gathering will be shared with the Bowdoin community later today.

This event is the latest effort at Bowdoin to encourage us all to further develop our ability to participate in thoughtful, open, and vigorous discussion on the difficult, critical issues. As I have said consistently in my public remarks, rational and respectful engagement with opposing ideas and uncomfortable issues is a critical part of our mission, and developing the skill and disposition for this is necessary to have an impact on the major challenges and opportunities we face in our world.

I am looking forward to the conversation and Q&A in Pickard Theater, and to the student event afterward in Thorne.

All the best,

Clayton