Towson University community celebrates the unity in difference during inauguration week lecture

By Sarah Hill '17 on September 15, 2016

Guest lecturer Andrew Solomon spoke on "How Differences Unite Us" during Tuesday evening's event at West Village Commons

Laughs and considerate expressions filled the West Village Commons ballroom Tuesday evening as Andrew Solomon spoke on “How Differences Unite Us,” in celebration of President Kim Schatzel’s inauguration week activities.

Solomon is a best-selling author; president of the PEN American Center; an activist for mental health, LGBT rights and the disabilities community; and, perhaps most importantly to him, a non-traditional family man.

While discussing his views on the importance of diversity on Tuesday evening, Solomon acknowledged Towson University’s initiative to promote inclusion on campus with pride and approval, saying he wishes more American universities were on the same track as TU. 

As part of his talk, Solomon promoted his newest book, Far From the Tree, in which he highlights several people who have been impacted by hardships, from dealing with disabilities to struggling with personal identity. He told the assembled audience Tuesday night that he wants to “flip the script” when viewing disabilities, believing they are unique parts of individuals’ personalities that make them the extraordinary people they are.

Solomon made it clear that love and family are most important to him, and one quote from his mother says it all: “The love you have for your children is like no other feeling in the world. And until you have children, you don’t know what it’s like.” 

Inauguration Week activities continue Friday (Sept. 16) with Schatzel’s inauguration ceremony at 2 p.m. at SECU Arena. Following the ceremony, a reception will be held on the concourse level from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Schatzel is Towson University’s 14th president and will focus her inauguration speech on the university’s “proud past and fantastic future.”