Genevieve ’24 (center), founder of the Sisters affinity group, and Dava ’24 (right) talk with speaker Robert Lewis, Jr. after assembly.

Perspectives of Boston and Beyond

This spring's assembly speakers drew on the wealth of knowledge available both within our community and around Greater Boston. After kicking off the semester with mental health tips from wellness speaker James Peterson, students compared the benefits and tradeoffs of higher education with Alec Levenson ’84, an economist at the University of Southern California. Jon Hiatt ’66, the former General Counsel & Chief of Staff of the AFL-CIO, provided a fitting followup with his insights from a career advocating for labor rights. And local artist Rocky Cotard, a guest instructor with Dive In Commonwealth, displayed his work as an illustrator and muralist. 

Other guests shed light on initiatives across Boston. Robert Lewis, Jr., inspired us to make change with his story of growing up in the city and his founding The BASE, a nonprofit supporting local youth through sports and enrichment programming. Eli Patterson informed us about the state legislative process through the lens of their work with Black and Pink Massachusetts, which provides services to incarcerated LGBTQ+ people. Then we explored the future of urban farming with Boston Microgreens founder Oliver Humbert, whose business grew from a college apartment venture to a full-fledged, in-demand, and sustainable facility. 

By the end of the year, we had journeyed across the world through talks from circumnavigator Anita Klaussen and Egyptologist Peter Der Manuelian. Ms. Klaussen's vivid travel photography from her travels to the Arctic, along with Mr. Der Manuelian's cutting-edge virtual renderings of ancient sites, highlighted how digital tools can bring faraway places closer to our Back Bay home. 

Learn More About Assemblies at Commonwealth