Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
The Butler community never did quite forget Angelou’s legendary presence back in 1988. After being the inaugural speaker for Butler University’s Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series, Angelou is coming back to campus to celebrate the series’ 25th anniversary.
Angelou is known as one the most prolific writers and renaissance women in the world. Angelou is a renowned poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker and civil rights activist.
Valerie Davidson, director and creator of Butler’s diversity programs, said she is more than thrilled for Angelou’s return to campus.
“I think it’s only fitting as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the series that we bring back the distinctive voice that started it all,” Davidson said.
Last time Angelou was at Butler, she graced the audience with a reading of her works. While there is no general theme to Angelou’s lecture this time, Davidson said she knows the experience will be worthwhile.
“When you have someone with the achievements and the image and the lifetime accomplishments of Maya Angelou, whatever she wants to talk about, I think that people will gain something from that,” Davidson said.
The Butler community seems to agree. Davidson said all the tickets were sold out in a matter of a few days.
“Butler students should take advantage of this opportunity,” Davidson said. “They have the rare chance to learn from and gain new perspectives from such an influential speaker.”
Butler’s student government, partnering with the diversity center, is looking forward to welcoming Angelou to campus. Mike Keller, Student Government Association president, said he plans to search for a personalized message from her lecture.
“She’s such a notable figure across the country and has shown just an extreme amount of depth to her thoughts and with what she has been able to do,” Keller said. “And I think everybody who gets a chance to listen to people such as her really comes away with a lot and learns a lot about themselves and their own personal mission.”
Along with SGA, the Black Student Union is also co-sponsoring the event. With the Black Student Union theme being “Become a better version of yourself,” Brittany Moore, union president, said she hopes Angelou’s lecture can touch on the subject.
“I want her to enlighten everyone and tell them they can be the best they can be,” Moore said. “I’m hoping for everyone to be inspired to have a great semester and great life after hearing her speak.”
Angelou will speak in Clowes Memorial Hall on Tuesday, March 26 at 7:30 p.m. While not every student will remember every word Angelou says that day, students will likely remember how her words and works made them feel.