Award-winning journalist Frank Sesno visits the domain

by Grace Webster

Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of

On Thursday, November 6, a crowd gathered at Convocation Hall to hear Frank Sesnso’s insight and perspective on the recent elections, aftermath, and ways engaged citizens can get involved. Sesno was a student in the first class Vice-Chancellor John McCardell taught at Middlebury College and has since become the director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. Sesno is an Emmy-award winning journalist, former CNN anchor, and Washington bureau chief. In addition, Senso recently created an interactive approach to sustainability: a user-driven web and television project called Planet Forward. Planet Forward is an innovative online forum where the public can share their ideas on sustainability. The most influential ideas are then featured online and on TV, giving experts and involved citizens a chance to communicate their thoughts with

the world. Sesno both informed and engaged his audience; what began as a speech ended as a conversation. America’s decline, climate change, and political imperfections were relevant but as Sesno said, “the world today is at least as bad as it seems but not as bad as it seems.”

Sesno began by relating statistics on low voter turnout and opinions of the voters themselves, “three-quarters of America believe this country is on the wrong track.” America’s disapproval translated through the polls and two-thirds of voters did not participate in midterm elections. A seemingly grim outlook became exceedingly optimistic as Sesno’s passion for positive change became evident. Sesno shared inspiring stories, projects and plans and exclaimed that “it is an unbelievably exciting time to be 22.” When asked to elaborate, Sesno replied, “the challenges have never been greater and the opportunities have never been more exciting; the combination produces a window to do something meaningful…The urgency of the moment creates endless opportunity for the most technologically informed generation of human history.” Vice-Chancellor John McCardell said of his former student, “I feel proud…[Sesno] graduated in 1977, it was my first year and his last year.”

Richards Hundley (C’15), when asked what he took away from Sesno’s speech, said, “That everything will be ok. That was the most important fact from the talk.”