Delivering a message of global unity

At the 2010 New Student Convocation on Friday, Fareed Zakaria spoke as the distinguished lecturer to the incoming class of 2014.

Brought to the stage by President Donna  E. Shalala, Zakaria spoke to the crowd mainly about what the future holds for the global community and how he sees the current generation fitting into it.

“I think that the key for college students for the future is to help Americans help their country realize how different a world we live in now,” Zakaria said. “It really isn’t their father’s world, and [students] recognize that almost intuitively because of who their classmates are because of the way you’re growing up.”

With his left hand in his pocket and his right orchestrating the speech, Zakaria touched on topics ranging from his recent experience dealing with Libyan President Muammar al-Gaddafi and his “Amazonian Guard,” to explaining how Ross Perot could remain a Populist while being a billionaire.

But regardless of what tone the lecture took, from light-hearted to insightful, Zakaria’s message of an ever-increasingly connected world stayed the same.

And as for what role the University of Miami will play in the global landscape, he believes it to be that of an example for the rest to follow.

“[UM] is one of the great melting pots of America,” Zakaria said. “And yet it has been able to maintain great academic excellence, excellence in sports, so to me it’s a model of what the country should be able to become. That’s a pretty good model for the country.”

Austen Gregerson may be contacted at