At the Y

Forum Blitz


A caricature illustration of Mitt Romney, Vali Nasr, and Ed Catmull. They have large heads and small bodies. Mitt Romney is wearing a BYU cardigan with a Y on it. Vali Nasr is holding the world in his hands. Ed Catmull is dressed like Woody from Toy Story and holding a toy "Bullseye," the horse from Toy Story.

By Darren Gygi

This year’s forum lineup had a distinctly presidential feel: speakers included Ed Catmull, president of Disney and Pixar Animation Studios; W. Mitt Romney (BA ’71), former U.S. presidential candidate; and David Pershing, president of the University of Utah. They were joined by Mickey Edwards and Jim Leach, both former members of Congress, and Vali Nasr, a Middle East scholar. Below are highlights from three of their addresses:

Be Nice: “There may be times in your life when you feel that it is a bit of a burden being a member of the Church. Some folks will think you’re not Christian, some may be insulted that you don’t drink with them, or others may think you’re trying to be better than them by not swearing. But I can affirm this . . . : your fellow members of the Church will be a blessing that far more than compensates. They will bless you when you are sick, lift you up when you fall, help you raise a teenager, counsel you about a job, and yes, even move your unpacked junk into an apartment. We are not perfect. . . . But we are remarkably good as a people at reaching out our hands to one another in need. Decide to be one of those that does just that.”

—Mitt Romney, former Republican
presidential nominee, Nov. 18, 2014

The Middle East Solution: “The solution to [the problems in the Middle East] ultimately requires economic growth and business. . . . We see that there are pockets of the same kind of middle classes that we see elsewhere in the world that could basically be the engine of change in this region. The problem is that they are captured in economies that are closed, that are dominated by governments, and that are secluded from the world order. And again, this is something the United States is very good at doing: we’ve helped economic growth in Mexico, in Latin America, in Asia. And so when the dust settles from ISIS, that is actually the task that lies before us and lies before your generation.”

—Vali Nasr, dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International
Studies,
Oct. 21, 2014

Up Turned Upside Down: “The first version of Up took place on a castle floating in the sky, and there was a king in the castle who had two sons; the sons didn’t like each other. And the people in the castle were at war with the people on the ground, and . . . the two sons happened to fall overboard and ended up wandering around in enemy territory. And in this wandering around they came across a large bird. This version of the movie didn’t work: all that was left was the bird and the word up. . . . [Creativity] is a path that is filled with false turns and errors, and the errors are a necessary part of the process.”