Newhouse School to remember David Ifshin, student activists of 1960s and ’70s, in First Amendment Year event
Newhouse School to remember David Ifshin, student activists of 1960s and ’70s, in First Amendment Year eventJanuary 31, 2008Wendy S. Loughlinwsloughl@syr.edu
Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, as part of its yearlong celebration of the First Amendment, will recognize “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances” in a special event Feb. 19 at 6:30 p.m. in the Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium, Newhouse 3. The event will remember SU student protesters of the 1960s and ’70s, including the late David Ifshin ’70, an SU student leader at the time who went on to national prominence as a political activist.
“Some of the most visible and profound examples of free speech and the freedom to assemble occurred on the Syracuse University campus in the tumultuous years of the late 1960s and early 1970s,” says Larry Elin, associate professor of television, radio and film in the Newhouse School and organizer of the event. “Student leaders like Ifshin became known for their leadership and passion. This event will acknowledge those students — now alumni — whose exercise of free speech and assembly marked a chapter in University, U.S. and world history.”
The event will open with remarks from Newhouse Dean David M. Rubin, followed by a student-produced documentary about the 1970s. Judge Joanne Alper, circuit court judge for the Seventeenth Circuit of Virginia and a member of the SU Board of Trustees, will speak on the right peaceably to assemble. A filmed version of a play about the life of Ifshin, written by Newhouse professor of television, radio and film Peter Moller, will be shown. And John Hendricks, founder and chair of Discovery Communications, will dedicate a memorial to Ifshin. The event will conclude with a musical solo by Dominic Lloyd, the son of Newhouse faculty members Bob and Carla Lloyd.
Ifshin began a life of political activism at SU, where he led the anti-war movement that at one point shut down the administration building. After graduating, he became president of the National Student Association, marched on Washington, D.C., and traveled to North Vietnam, where he delivered anti-war statements to U.S. soldiers. His message was broadcast into the cell of John McCain, then a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy being held as a prisoner of war.
The incident caused years of animosity between the two men until, at a Washington forum in 1986, Ifshin — by then an influential Washington lawyer — approached McCain — by then a Senator from Arizona — and apologized. The two reconciled and became friends.
Ifshin later served as general counsel for President Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign. When Ifshin died in 1996, he was eulogized by Clinton and McCain, as well as Hendricks.
The event is sponsored by the Newhouse School with support from SU’s Office of Alumni Relations; Newhouse’s Tully Center for Free Speech; the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ Interdisciplinary Research Group; and the Office of the Vice Chancellor and Provost.
For more information about the event, contact Elin at (315) 443-3415 or firstname.lastname@example.org.