Power-ful People

Yale is constantly receiving visits from powerful people. Last semester, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power came to visit Yale as part of Timothy Dwight’s Chubb Fellowship.

The Chubb Fellowship is one of Yale’s most prestigious fellowships, awarded to one individual each semester by Timothy Dwight College - the best residential college at Yale. Previous recipients include Morgan Freeman, Kentucky author Wendell Berry, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and George H.W. Bush. Fellowship recipients come to Yale to talk to students in the dining hall, after eating with them at a special dinner in their honor.

This year’s dinner was a real treat. It started off with a kale salad with carrots and raspberry vinaigrette. Following that was the main course of steak and mushrooms, broccoli and fingerling potatoes. Topping it all off was a chocolate mousse with a peanut butter whipped cream. Yum.

Power gave a short speech, but spent the majority of the time answering questions posed by students. She talked about the International Criminal Court, rising threats to US national security and how she rose up through the ranks to her current position. Power began as a journalist covering the genocide in Eastern Europe, before going into academia. Where’d she get her start in journalism? The Yale Daily News, of course, covering the Yale Women’s Basketball team.

Samantha Power at the podium.

Perhaps the best part of her talk was the very end, where she offered advice to all the students in attendance. “Find something you’re passionate about and immerse yourself in it,” she said. For Power, her passion was human rights, originally viewed through a journalistic lens. She talked about moving to Eastern Europe to document the atrocities in Serbia, and then trying to sell her stories to major news outlets. Yalies are all passionate about something, whether a cappella, engineering, or politics (like me!) and so Power’s advice should be welcome to all.