Highlights from fall 2007 forum speakers.

 

Quotation

“Space has become a place where humanity is coming together. It’s because when we fly, the further away we go from the Earth, the closer the fingers that point to home are.” – Franklin Chang-Diaz

BYU students flocked to the Marriott Center each Tuesday during fall semester to listen to a seemingly endless array of distinguished speakers, including leaders of two of the three branches of the U.S. government. Here are a few forum highlights:

Franklin Chang-Diaz, Former NASA Astronaut—Sept. 25, 2007

“Now we’re building the international space station. It’s about halfway completed… Thirteen nations in Europe, the Canadians, the Russians, the Japanese, and the Americans all work together so that space has become a place where humanity is coming together. It’s interesting because when we fly, the further away we go from the Earth, the closer the fingers that point to home are. People come from different countries and say, ‘Where are you from?’ ‘Well, I’m from right there.’ And the guy from Japan says, ‘Well I’m from there also.’ And so everybody points in the same direction.”

Sen. Harry S. Reid, D-Nev., U.S. Senate Majority Leader—Oct. 9, 2007

“It took me many, many years to understand the greatness of our country. My parents were poor. They drank too much. They were uneducated. My father never graduated from the 8th grade, my mother never finished high school. But I learned that in America, it doesn’t matter the education of your parents, their religion—we had none—their social status, their color, their economic status. I am an example of this, if I made it, anyone can… Education was the equalizer in my life—it must be for you and for all of us.”

John G. Roberts Jr., Chief Justice of the United States—Oct. 23, 2007

“The Framers [of the Constitution], like Utah’s first pioneers, did not proceed without guidance from others. Just as Brigham Young took counsel from the journals of early explorers like John Fremont, the Framers found guidance from the writings of political theorists, such as Locke and Montesquieu. Like the settlers who came to Utah in 1847, the Framers deserve enormous credit for transforming an academic conception to concrete form.”

“The Framers set a profound example for all of us about the importance of public service as a part of our lives. They came from all walks of life, but they shared a common commitment to civic virtue.”

Nathaniel Philbrick, Award-winning Author of Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War—Nov. 6, 2007

“Even though [the Pilgrims] had resolved to leave their mother country, they were fiercely proud of their English ancestry. But they couldn’t go home. What to do? After much discussion, they decided they should do what seems an incredible thing: they should transplant their congregation wholesale across 3,000 miles of ocean to the New World… They knew that this is what God wanted them to do.”