BEN FIDLER 08
Ive always enjoyed the atmosphere at the Athenaeum, Davidson says. It has always been a great institution and part of CMC. I have to say that when I did the interview for this job, it was the first time I felt nervous because I wanted it so much.
The Athenaeums distinction as a convivial forum for dinner and intellectual discourse among students, faculty, and community members puts the role of Athenaeum Fellow on many students wish-lists. Fellows eat at the head table with influential speakers from the fields of business, politics and the arts, and introduce the guests to Athenaeum audiences four times a week. Davidson and Fidler will also assist with writing and editing the Athenaeums bi-weekly newsletter, The Fortnightly. Additionally, the Fellows work with Athenaeum director, Bonnie Snortum, in developing themes and strategies for bringing speakers to campus.
The opportunity to be there every single day and interact so closely with so many fascinating people is just astounding, Davidson said.
Both students have kept a sharp eye on the Athenaeums lineup these past years. Fidlers favorite guest thus far has been law professor and author Amos Guiora, who lectured last semester on counterterrorism. His dream guest is Muhammad Yunus, whose work in developing microfinance in Bangladesh won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. I would talk to him about why he think it works, and how it can be adapted to other environments, says Fidler. Davidsons favorite Athenaeum guests have included Salman Rushdie, Thomas Pogge, author and military historian Victor Davis Hanson, and commentator and blogger Andrew Sullivan.
Fidler says he looks forward to helping continue the balance between politics and the humanities in his Athenaeum work.