Cohen is the biggest auditorium at Tufts and it is home to numerous dance, music, and theater shows, lectures, and some intro classes. I’ve cheered through Tufts Dance Collective shows, sang along to “Into the Woods,” spoken on student panels on the stage, and stressed through chemistry exams all in that room. This semester it housed two of my favorite events.
Just before Thanksgiving, I went to my friend’s gospel choir concert, which is part of a half-credit class that counts towards the arts distribution requirement. My favorite part of the concert was the choir’s conscious effort to “break the wall between the stage and the audience” and make the audience feel comfortable enough to participate. 218 Jumbos thundered down the aisles of Cohen and filled the stands on the stage. There was a lot of clapping, swaying and chanting to the point that the audience was often on their feet clapping, swaying (not in sync) and singing (more like shouting) with the choir. Cohen fits 567 people and it was filled with families and friends there to support the students.
Most recently, it was filled for a Tufts Institute for Human Animal Interaction event when Temple Grandin came to speak! She is very well known on the international Human-Animal Interaction scene for her work in understanding animal emotions and instituting humane handling practices in the livestock industry. She is a best-selling author, has a fantastic TED talk, an emmy award winning documentary about her life, a Ph.D. in Animal Science and she’s autistic. For me, having a TED talk is the epitome of cool so this woman really takes the cake. Her talk brought together people from across all the schools and the greater community, including grad students in the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, many occupational therapy students, three of the instructors I worked with as part of my own Human-Animal Interaction Project, and many Tufts’ undergrads who wanted to hear her talk.
Meanwhile, just a quick walk up the hill from Cohen, the former National Security Council Advisor Stephen Hadley was giving a talk about diplomacy in the middle-east. It was open for free to all members of the public. There are some amazing events happening on this campus all the time, most often in Cohen but elsewhere as well, that are incredibly popular among students and the local community. Tufts is a great place to be!