Last week our principal Mr. Mailloux '72 (who turned the big 6-0 today) received an invitation to a dinner and awards ceremony for the Turkish Cultural Center here in Manchester. One of the honorees was our good friend Charlie Sherman of New Horizons (as well as the governor, the president of Southern New Hampshire University, and a political reporter) and it seemed like an interesting event so he decided to attend. He asked me and Mr. Connell '90, our development director, to come along as well.
The event was held last night at the Radisson Hotel on Elm Street and featured speakers focusing on Islam, Turkey, and ways in which communities could have a better understanding of one another. The most moving part of the night was when John Foley, the father of James Foley, spoke of his son and his efforts to shine light on dark situations in the Middle East. A well had been donated in Uganda in memory of James by one of the sponsors of the dinner and Mr. Foley "accepted" the gift on behalf of the family. He said that a well was the ideal way to remember Jim as water gives life and is sustaining.
Following this, the award recipients were recognized and they each offered a few remarks. Gov. Hassan spoke of how events such as these helped bring different communities together in friendship and fellowship and helped bridge divides and misunderstandings. Charlie Sherman spoke of the work at New Horizons, President Paul LeBlanc of SNHU spoke of the role of education in bringing people together, and Kevin Landrigan talked about the power of the media.
All told, it was a lovely evening and a nice opportunity to hear about the great work being done by so many people in New Hampshire across all faiths and ways of life.