Author Wes Moore talks doing good and leadership to student leaders


Chantel Parker, a junior criminology major, talks with author, Wes Moore on Wednesday. Student leaders around campus were invited to talk with Wes Moore before his speech in the KIVA on Wednesday evening. Photo by Coty Giannelli.

Brittney Trojanowski

Wes Moore — author of “The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates,” the required reading for all 2012 incoming freshman at Kent State — spoke to student leaders in a speech Wednesday night.

On the second floor of the Student Center, tables filled with students. Here, Moore commended student leaders — including representatives for the Center for Student Involvement, Residence Services and the Honors College — for stepping up and taking on roles that not many would.

“I’m seriously rooting for you. We need you out there,” Moore said to the students.

Moore is a New York Times best-selling author, Rhodes scholar, White House Fellow and army veteran.

He spoke about getting more out of your higher education than just a degree.

“… If at the end of this process, if the only thing you walk across that stage and receive is a degree, then you have missed the point of higher education,” he said. “True higher education is supposed to be the understanding and ability to grasp a greater empathy for others.”

After a Q-and-A session with the students, a few Kent State veterans from the Kent State Veterans Club presented Moore with a T-shirt dubbing him an honorary member of the club.

“The proudest moments of my life were not when I was wearing a suit or wearing jeans; it was when I was in uniform,” he said while accepting his gift.

Moore said college degrees are important, but there is more to higher education than academics.

“The fact is that our degrees can never simply be about what we study and what we do, it also has to be about an idea of empathy for those who are dealing with issues that we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemies,” Moore said.

Logan Peoples, freshman nursing major, said she was happy she was invited to Moore’s speech.

“I didn’t expect it to have such an impact or for me to enjoy it so much,” Peoples said. “It was an honor for him to be talking to us about his life and just how we should stay motivated and make decisions that do matter and that they are a big deal.”

Breyanna Tripp, freshman public relations major, said she really enjoyed his warm personality and meeting him in person gave her a better sense of Moore.

Moore said student leaders are what keep the pulse of the university going and symbolize Kent State as a whole.

“A university is as good as its student body because that’s what the university puts out,” Moore said.

Contact Brittney Trojanowski at [email protected].