Sunday, March 25, 2007
Most people know little about Matthew Fox other than that he is a very handsome guy with a knack for seeming noble on television. But considering that the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs invited a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize (Shirin Ebadi), and the business school a former Treasury secretary (Robert Rubin), Mr. Fox has the advantage of relative youth and inexperience.
Somewhat predictably, Mr. Fox’s invitation by the senior class officers has caused a stir on campus, where students have questioned everything from his speechifying bona fides to the wattage of his star power. The Columbia student body is famous for its protests, and extended that same demonstrative courtesy to last year’s speaker, Senator John McCain. At least as a Columbia grad, Mr. Fox knows what he is getting into and, we hope, will take whatever happens with a sense of humor.
A legendary prowess for protesting. During my time at Columbia I spoke on camera for a senior's project about religion in student's lives on campus. Though I never saw the end product, apparently there was a bit of agitation when I came on screen at Barnard, and one person came up to me afterwards whom I had never met before to tell me that I made quite a stir. I guess I should consider myself lucky I wasn't the target of a walkout, or a teach-in, or, horror of horrors, a love-in.