Terp Talks 2016
COLLEGE PARK— A buzzing sense of excitement filled the air of Riggs Alumni Center Thursday night, November 30, as students, faculty, and College Park residents alike lined the doors, waiting to get a glimpse of the Fall 2016 edition of Terp Talks. Once inside, the record-setting audience of 240 watched and cheered in appreciation as six student speakers gave inspiring keynote speeches in a speaking showcase modeled after the ever-popular TED Talks. An array of topics were covered— from Black Lives Matter to mental health stigmas and everywhere in between, with each speech shifting the mood in the room from serious to somber, and at times, even lighthearted.
The event was headlined by Maryland basketball legend and former NBA first round draft pick Walt Williams. Williams followed the student speeches with an inspiring speech of his own, encapsulating the event’s theme of defining what it means to be a “fearless Terp”. He spoke at length about his storied, and sometimes uncertain, journey through the college ranks of basketball that eventually led to an 11 year career in the NBA. By the time he was finished speaking, there wasn’t a person in the room that didn’t have chills tingling down their spine.
Following the speeches, attendees spilled out of the elegantly lit Orem Alumni Hall into a tastefully decorated, balloon-strewn area where light refreshments were served. Guests were also given the opportunity to pose for photos with Williams, who proved to have a heart as big as his 7-foot stature.
Hosted by junior government and politics major and Terp Talks alum Jake Shapiro, the event was made possible by his efforts in addition to those of several speech coaches from the Communications department and a student event planning team. Stay tuned for information regarding next semester’s Terp Talks showcase.
Photos courtesy of Jamal Francis