During October, I attended lectures by Amini Kajunju, CEO of the Africa-America Institute and BYU alumna; Kateryna Yushchenko, former first lady of Ukraine and chair of the Ukraine 3000 International Fund; and Somini Sengupta, U.N. Bureau Chief for the New York Times. Kristen Cox, who directs the state’s Office of Management and Budget, also lectured, but I couldn’t attend her presentation.
Kudos to the Kennedy Center for hosting this array of talented, passionate women in business, politics, and journalism last month. While I learned about economic development in Africa, political turmoil in Ukraine, and politicking in the United Nations I was reminded why it is a privilege to attend BYU—this truly is a world-class university with the ability to attract experts in all fields.
Unfortunately, Kajunju, Yushchenko, Sengupta, and Cox were not well heard. The room in the Herald R. Clark Building where most of these women lectured seats perhaps 80 people. Any of these women could have offered a first-rate presentation at university forum, where they would have reached thousands of students, faculty, alumni, and viewers of BYU television.
Instead, you have to backtrack to July or fast forward to some yet unidentified date—hopefully in the next semester but manifestly not in this one—to find a devotional or forum address given by a woman. That seems odd.
Let’s keep hosting women who have achieved excellence in political, religious, and business endeavors. But let’s put them in forums where they can be heard by thousands rather than a few dozen.