By: Madeline (Madie) Fleishman, Sophomore EC Scholar
As a part of the Voyages of Discovery lecture series, Bob Woodward came to campus last week. Bob Woodward and his colleague Carl Bernstein are the journalists responsible for reporting the Watergate scandal in the 1970’s. Members of the Honors College were given the opportunity to meet Mr. Woodward in a small group discussion. During the discussion Mr. Woodward told us countless stories of his time in investigative journalism. He began by asking us how we find our information. Most people said the Internet, books, or people. Mr. Woodward told us that the best way to get information is through observation and personally experiencing it. He shared with us stories of times he used this himself. He told us one story about a piece he wrote on a coffee shop that ended up being completely inaccurate because he hadn’t bothered to go to the coffee shop himself. This lesson will stick with the other students and I as we tackle challenging Honors research and our remaining classwork in our undergraduate experience. Mr. Woodward would remind us that there is always a way to experience our research. Additionally, we discussed the current presidential election and the controversy surrounding both candidates. The topic of most interest was the debate of whether Trump’s tax records or Hillary’s emails were more important to find. Woodward brought this conversation back to Watergate, proposing the question, what can we do to prevent another Watergate? The conversation provoked thoughtful discussions on crime, corruption, and prevention of scandal.
Hearing stories and advice from a man that had changed the future of the US was inspiring. He taught me that with hard work and dedication, it is possible to change the course of history. Woodward was open with us about everything (except his sources) about his experiences and knowledge of current events and uncovering Watergate. I was incredibly grateful to be able to meet such an influential person and it was all made possible by the Honors College.