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From Lasell to the Capitol to the Super Bowl: You Never Know Who Might Visit Campus

February 10, 2021

Amanda Gorman at Lasell University, as seen in an Instagram post from Gorman's accountIn 2017, Amanda Gorman shared her voice and vision with Lasell University as the keynote speaker at Lasell’s She’s the First Leadership Conference. Recently, the inaugural poet and nation’s first National Youth Poet Laureate has captured the world’s attention with her appearances at the 2021 presidential inauguration and Super Bowl LV. 

Corinne Hennessey ’18 and fellow She’s the First (STF) executive board members first saw Gorman speak at the national STF Summit in New York City. Hennessey asked Gorman if she would partner with Lasell to bring a similar event to the Boston area, where Gorman was a student at Harvard University. For the cost of an Uber ride, Gorman joined Lasell STF and audience members in de Witt Hall later that year. 

“It has been completely surreal to go from talking with Amanda in-person to seeing her perform on TV,” says Hennessey. “Surreal, but not unexpected.” 

In January, Gorman performed an original poem, “The Hill We Climb,” at President Joe Biden’s inauguration. On Sunday, February 7, she became the first poet to perform at a Super Bowl, and used the platform to honor three community heroes chosen by the NFL to serve as honorary captains at the championship game. Hennessey is eager to see where Gorman takes her talents next, and urges current Lasell students to seek out opportunities on campus like the one she had in 2017. 

Amanda Gorman with She's the First Leadership at Lasell University in 2017
She's the First leaders with Amanda Gorman in 2017

“Go to every event you can,” she says. “If you’re able to learn outside of your class schedule, you might uncover a hidden passion, job path, or opportunity that you never expected to find. Ask questions at events to open a dialogue with guest speakers and professors – it will lead to richer relationships and better networking opportunities.” 

Plus, she adds, you never know who you might meet. “It could be your new best friend for life, an Olympian, or even the youngest inaugural poet in history!”

Photos courtesy of Madison Paloski