In Memoriam: Maya Angelou

angelouAcclaimed poet, author and actress Maya Angelou, who died today at age 86, made several appearances at Boston College over the course of her legendary career. In 1983, the University awarded her an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. She gave a talk at St. Ignatius Church shortly after reading one of her poems at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993. She spoke at Robsham Theater as part of BC’s Lowell Humanities Series in 1984. According to records kept at BC’s Burns Library, Humanities Series Director Father Francis Sweeney, SJ wrote in a letter to Angelou after her appearance that scarcely could he recall any lecturer who so “touched and delighted the audience.” “Without using superlatives”, he wrote, “it would be difficult to comment on your [Angelou’s] reading.” Never, to his recollection, had the audience so thundered applause during the course of “four standing ovations”, which was “without precedent in the 28 year history of the Humanities Series.” (Photo of Maya Angelou at Robsham Theater, Mar. 15, 1984.)

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