London Mayor Shares a Drink and a Laugh with SHU students
More than forty Seton Hall students and faculty sat in on London Mayor, Boris Johnson’s presentation to the Legatum Institute this past September 4th on “Athenian Civilisation: The Glory that Endures”.
Mr. Johnson delivered his presentation accompanied by a glass of what looked like red wine, at the Legatum Institute in London getting on stage at roughly 6:40 PM, which translated to a 1:40 presentation of a live stream of the event in the Chancellor’s Suite in the University Center. His presentation focused on the parallels between Pericles’ Athens and modern day London, but the mayor himself proved to be too entertaining for his immediate audience and stole the show himself.
“You’re not paying attention!” he scolded the audience, who howled with laughter as he tipped back his wine glass.
While this was only one of the many short detours Mr. Johnson took with his speech, his entire remarks were punctuated with laughter, due to quips about “decapitating people”, “Pericles’ onion shaped head”, and suggesting that he might throw some of the audience out.
When the laughter did subside Mr. Johnson harped on the fact that modern day London is much like Athens was, with both being “the intellectual capital of the world” and both cities demonstrating admirable models for democracy, tolerance and mass participation.
Professor Bill Connell, a History Professor and La Motta chair in Italian studies, was the point man for Seton Hall in getting this presentation, as he was initially contacted by the Legatum Institue about the possibility of the live streaming the presentation. Professor Connell was able to coordinate the event and even had three or four of his Western Civilization classes tag along with him.
“The ability for them to see how history is relevant to today is so important” he said.