“I really feel as a newcomer to Northwestern that what Northwestern really does for students or imposes on students is an obligation… I know that it’s your hard work and your accomplishments that get you guys here, but there are so many people out there who aren’t going to get the opportunities that Northwestern students are going to get. Millions and millions of kids, there are a lot of kids who would love to be at Northwestern or a place like Northwestern and will never get it…I feel that what that does is it creates an obligation on Northwestern students, you have to take advantage of this. Not because you ought to take advantage of the university and all it has to offer but because you’re obligated to. Because you’re in a spot that millions of people would love to have.”
Kevin Boyle is the William Smith Mason Professor of American History at Northwestern. He won the 2004 National Book Award for Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights and Murder in the Jazz Age. He came to Evanston in June 2013 after teaching at Ohio State, the University of Massachusetts Amherst and University College Dublin, among other institutions.