In case you weren’t aware, today was Constitution Day and I had the privilege of attending the keynote speech given by Dr. Vincent M. Bonventre, one of Albany Law’s most esteemed educators. Dr. Len Cutler of our own Political Science Department provided the introductory speech and spoke very highly of Dr. Bonventre, particularly of his teaching methods. Dr. Bonventre had actually taught the Civil Liberties course two years ago when Dr. Cutler was away on sabbatical and students RAVED about Dr. Bonventre and the ways in which he was able to truly challenge them to think critically.
Dr. Bonvetre elaborated specifically on his elementary school education in his presentation, which was mainly a Catholic upbringing. He spent 9 years with Catholic charities and to this day, has an enormous sense of respect for the Sisters of Mercy, whom he served with. It was from them that he was educated in the area of social justice, one of the main concerns that students and faculty at Siena College live by. Throughout his speech about religious liberty and whether it’s considered to be a fundamental right or a nuisance (his research concluded that religious liberty was both), he gave several instances in which his passion for social justice appeared within his professional career. Social justice is something that everyone here at Siena considers to be very important and it truly was very inspiring to see firsthand how being educated in social justice can really affect a person’s future in such a positive way.
Did you guys see Professor Bonventre’s speech? What did you think? Let me know!