David Brooks Addresses IC Campus

By Nicole Kramer ’19, October 10, 2018
The political commentator urged students to look at big picture.

On Thursday, Oct. 4, David Brooks spoke at Ithaca College, urging students to focus on the challenge of finding their post-college identity in an age of fast-paced media.

Brooks, who in addition to being an op-ed columnist for The New York Times, is a prominent author and political commentator, was speaking as a part of the Park Distinguished Visitor Series. After detailing his professional journey following his graduation from the University of Chicago in 1983, he then turned his focus to candidly discussing challenges faced by today’s college students.

Brooks conveyed a speech that was very relevant and able to address challenges that students studying journalism and media might encounter. He described the life of a journalist as “a marathon rather than a sprint,” and added that aspiring journalists need to have the ability to take a step back and look at the bigger picture, rather than falling victim to the more focused and isolating world sometimes portrayed through social media.  

He added that although post-college lives do not follow straight paths, and will at times make someone question their chosen path, these moments can benefit you as you enter adulthood.

Brooks also praised this generation, saying he is continuously struck by undying efforts of local communities to band together at a rapid pace to provide support and compassion for their neighbors. “Joy is the erasure of self,” he said. “Joy is moving with other people.”

Celine Baumgartner 19 found the lecture to be both entertaining and educational. “I liked that he said it’s OK to not know your purpose right away,” she said. “Instead, it’s important to learn from experience things that can motivate you to want to make a change.”

The Park Distinguished Visitor Series, funded by the Park Foundation, has been welcoming leading professionals in the communications industry to Ithaca College for over 15 years. Prior guests include: Randi Zuckerberg, Christiane Amanpour and Robert Fisk.