No "Accidental" Life: An Evening with Wes Moore

Posted: December 1, 2011

In McShain Performing Arts Center Wednesday evening, seats filled steadily as the time drew near for special lecturer Wes Moore to take the stage. The audience of more than three hundred included Rosemont College students, faculty, staff, alumni, and trustees; as well as groups from neighboring schools and members of the local community.

For about one hour, Wes Moore spoke about education, choices, personal responsibility, community, and family support. He shared his story and the story that inspired his bestselling book The Other Wes Moore. He talked about the time he spent in suburban Philadelphia as a cadet at Valley Forge Military Academy, and how it left a lasting impact on his life.

Questions from the audience covered a wide range of subjects, from Moore’s writing process, to leadership, to his time as a White House Fellow, to his favorite experiences. He conveyed the importance of working toward goals, rather than living an “accidental” life. “People ask me if I was surprised to receive The Rhodes Scholarship and I say, no – I applied for it!” he quipped.

Before the public lecture, Moore met with more than seventy undergraduate students in Connelly residence hall. The Other Wes Moore was this semester’s shared reading for first-year Rosemont students.

“When we read Wes Moore's book, we knew it would be perfect for Rosemont,” said Dr. Melissa Sullivan, director of the First-Year Connections Seminar program. “It revolves around how our families, backgrounds, and personal decisions impact the key turning points in our lives. These ideas resonated with our undergraduate students.”

A graduate of Valley Forge Military Academy and Johns Hopkins University, Moore grew up in Baltimore and the Bronx. From 2005 to 2006, he served in Afghanistan with the 1st Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division. When he returned, he spent a year working on Wall Street and another year at the White House as Special Assistant to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

He was a featured speaker at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, and has appeared on shows ranging from “Oprah,” to “Meet the Press,” to “CBS Sunday Morning,” to NPR’s “All Things Considered.” For more information, please visit

For more event photos, visit the Rosemont College page on Facebook.

Last Updated: December 14, 2011