Roberto Clemente Symposium

The event that I attended was the Roberto Clemente Symposium which was held in Richard Stockton College’s PAC Theatre on Friday October 14th. In the week leading up to the symposium, my Life of the Mind class discussed John Henry “Pop” Lloyd and his importance to baseball as well as the Atlantic City area. “Pop” Lloyd was widely considered the top shortstop to ever play in the Negro Leagues and was eventually inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977. More importantly, however, was Lloyd’s commitment to the Atlantic City community and local players, many of whom learned invaluable lessons about baseball and life directly from Lloyd. This humility and dedication to community was echoed in the discussion of Roberto Clemente.

            The speaker, whose name was Luis Mayoral, put the emphasis of his speech not on the vast span of Clemente’s achievements in regards to baseball, but Clemente’s passion for helping others. Mayoral was blessed enough to had become close friends with Clemente and shared many humorous anecdotes about their experiences together. Throughout these stories, however, there were a few elements that Mayoral continued to harp upon. The first of which was the pride that Clemente had for Puerto Rico even when he was playing in league, let alone a nation, in which he was restricted by language barriers. Mayoral also described how Clemente loved to give back to others, even going as far as to establish a Sports City in Puerto Rico so that the youth of the future were afforded just as wonderful an opportunity as he was. Finally, to end the symposium, Mayoral discussed the details of Clemente’s tragic death. Tearing up himself, Mayoral described how Clemente, who worked extensively with charity organizations, was sending aid packages to Managua as it had been hit by a devastating earthquake. However, after learning that the first few aid packages had been seized by the corrupt government and never reached the victims in need of relief, Clemente himself set off to accompany the next aid package to Managua. Mayoral, extremely emotional at this point, closed his speech by saying that Clemente died when plane crashed just off of the coast of Puerto Rico on December 31st, 1972, with Clemente’s body never being recovered.

            For my part, I absolutely loved the Roberto Clemente Symposium. I thought that Mayoral did an excellent job telling the story not of Roberto Clemente the baseball player, but of Roberto Clemente the dedicated and caring person. After the symposium, I was able to draw important connections between Roberto Clemente, “Pop” Lloyd, and Field of Dreams which we read in class just a few weeks prior. I look forward to future symposiums and the unique insight which they offer.

Osprey Ball

The event that I attended was the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey’s 16th Annual Osprey Ball, a part of the college’s “That ‘70’s Homecoming and Family Weekend” celebration. The ball was held on Saturday, October 15th 2011 from 8pm to midnight in the gorgeous Campus Center Event Room. Tickets, which were in hot demand all week prior to the dance, sold for $5 in advance or $10 at the door. The homecoming celebration had events going on throughout the weekend and included such happenings as alumni sports games, the homecoming carnival, as well as theatre performances. All of these events were topped by the wonderful ball which brought the exciting weekend to a close.

Before entering the Event Room, students and guest attending the dance were able to get their pictures taken and printed for them free of charge courtesy of Stockton’s Student Senate. There was also a wide variety of food provided for those at the dance as well as sparkling apple cider in champagne glasses which gave the dance an even more elegant feel. The Event Room, where the ball was held, has already been used to house numerous college events in the short time since the construction of the Campus Center. With various strobe lights and spotlights lighting the dark dance floor, the Event Room was electric throughout the night of the ball. The DJ played a nice mix of today’s popular songs and classic hits of the 70’s which fit in well with the dance’s theme.

It was also wonderful to see students dress up in their formal attire to enjoy the evening, a welcome change from the sweatpants and sweatshirt wardrobes which are commonly
associated with college students. Even more interesting were the students who
delved into the theme of the dance and dressed up in wacky attire from the
70’s.

On my part, I had a fantastic time attending the Osprey Ball. It was so much fun
to just forget about classes, papers, and exams for one evening and simply
dress up and go out with friends and peers. I felt that the ball was organized
wonderfully and was appropriately priced, allowing all students to have a great
time. I look forward to next year’s Homecoming Weekend and Osprey Ball.