Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fordham Homecoming: Colbert, the Cardinal, and a Whole Lot of Dancing

So, it's Homecoming Weekend here at Fordham University.  It's that time of year when everyone breaks out their Fordham pride as the campus is flooded with parents, siblings, alumni, and friends of all ages.  This leads to a joy and exuberance that just permeates the student body, with cries of "Let's Go, Fordham!" being a mainstay throughout the weekend.

This year has yielded a particularly exciting Homecoming, with Friday night's program "The Cardinal and Colbert:  Humor, Joy, and the Spiritual Life".  The event-- the unexpected kickoff to Campus Ministry's yearlong initiative of "Living the Mission"-- brought together two well-known, influential Catholics to have a sincere and quite hilarious conversation about how laughter strengthens and spreads their faith.

The event featured the famous Stephen Colbert, most know for his work on Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" and for his own Peabody-winning "The Colbert Report", and His Eminence Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York and the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, whose sense of humor and ever-present laughter has garnered him much attention from people of faith.  The event was moderated by Father James Martin SJ, the "official Chaplain of the Colbert Nation" and a longtime friend of Fordham University.  (He is also the author of a new book Between Heaven and Mirth as well as the bestselling The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything.)

With a lineup like that, it is safe to assume that the atmosphere at Fordham has been particularly electric since the event's announcement.  When it was released that event admittance would be determined by bracelets that were to be distributed the day before, the student body stepped into action.  People started lining up in McGinley Student Center at 11 pm the night before, many of them sporting their jammys and wrapped up in blankets.  The line ended up stretching all the way through McGinley, then out, past Fordham Prep, and out the 3rd Avenue gate.  Luckily, the wait paid off, and the three thousand victorious students walked about for the duration of the day, sporting their blue bracelets with pride.

The event itself, which took place in the Rose Hill Gymnasium the following day, was a night to remember. The two speakers, as well as the  fantastically entertaining moderator, managed to be both sincere and hilarious in approaching the topic.  Some highlights of the evening included His Eminence laying a smooch on Mrs. Colbert and then saying "I can kiss your wife, but you can't kiss mine!" and Stephen Colbert exchanging his tie for his brand new Fordham tie,  much to the joy of the crowd. Much fun was had and we cannot wait to see what surprises the rest of the year will bring!

After all the excitement of the conference died down, it was time for #Club Lib, an event co-sponsored by Residence Hall Association, Commuting Students Association, Peer Educators, Flip Side, and United Student Government.  #Club Lib sought to turn the entirety of the lawn of Walsh Library into a giant dance party, complete with lasers and Fordham DJs.  It was a fantastic end to a marvelous evening.

All this, and only the first day of Homecoming?  All I can say is:

"Let's Go, Fordham!"

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