(Representing the Music Department and Latin American and Latino Studies)
I want to thank you for helping transform Fordham into an extension of the Bronx yesterday. I have rarely been so moved a series of events as I was by Bobby Sanabria's master class and performance yesterday. For many years, I have struggled to think up ways to get our students and faculty to learn about, appreciate, and immerse themselves in the cultural traditions of the communities surrounding our Rose Hill Campus. Bobby Sanabria brought that dream to life yesterday with brilliance, historical wisdom and academic rigor. And he got Fordham students, many of whom came from relatively sheltered backgrounds, dancing, singing, chanting and clapping in clave! Just incredible. But even more important was the experience of affirmation his performance gave to the many veteran LatinX faculty and staff at Fordham, who have done so much for a University that has rarely embraced their culture and history. They were out in force last night and to see the joy they felt in seeing so many people respond to a brilliant performance of musical traditions they hold dear to their heart was a beautiful thing. And the dancing! When did you ever see 200 people in the McGinley Center Ballroom, of every age, race and cultural tradition, dance merengue for 20 straight minutes?
For one day at least, with your help, Bobby Sanabria turned Fordham into an extension of the Bronx! Fear was replaced with joy, indifference was replaced with enlightenment, a new community was built, and memories were created which may last a lifetime. I have been at Fordham for 48 years. Never have I been part of a day of musical and cultural creativity at Fordham more inspiring than this
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. We need to do this more often. We need to make it an integral part of the culture of this great institution.