The Berry College Gloria Shatto Lecture Series recently welcomed noted political commentator and senior news analyst Cokie Roberts.
Roberts hosted a class discussion in the Science Building and then spoke to a crowd of more than 700 students, faculty, staff and community members at the Steven J. Cage Athletic and Recreation Center.
The Shatto Lecture Series honors the memory of Georgia’s first female college president. Shatto, who served from 1980-1998, believed strongly that there is more to a college education than what can be learned in the classroom. The Shatto Lecture Series honors her vision by bringing to Berry speakers of international renown.
“It’s wonderful to be in an institution founded by a feisty woman,” Roberts told the
audience. “When I read up on her and realized what she did when she did it, it is really incredible. Because at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century of course she didn’t have the right to vote.
“So here she was having to do this incredibly political thing of creating a college which requires all kinds of dealing with the legislature and dealing with all kinds of entities, governmental and private, and not to mention raising the funds and starting the whole thing from scratch. And doing that, with hardly any legal rights and no political rights is not an easy thing to do… and here are all these wonderful people here today benefiting from it.”
Roberts’ lecture focused on her perspective as a Washington D.C. insider, pulling in
historic references as well as current issues. She spoke about the body politic and how civility and relationships on both sides of the aisle are causing it to change drastically.
“We have certainly had more partisan periods, but this one is a very rough one. And
it is very, very different from the time when I was growing up in Washington in 1940s and 50s … and the people that we knew were very much of both parties and we were good friends.”
Photos by Student Public Relations Photographer Blake Childers