Just two days before Christmas, a devastating fire gutted an Evanston family’s apartment and destroyed most of their possessions. Jeron Dorsey, a graduate student in the sports administration program, heard about the Jackson family’s plight and decided to lend a hand. Initially he donated cash and helped collect gift cards in collaboration with the Black Male Alliance, an Evanston anti-violence organization. But that outreach wasn’t enough. So Dorsey, a program director at Evanston’s Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, donated an entire two-week paycheck to the family and helped the Jacksons move donated furniture into their new home. He has continued to connect with the family. “I’ve committed to them that I’ll always be a part of their lives,” says Dorsey, who has two young children. Giving back to his hometown community is important to the Evanston native. Growing up, he remembers thinking that Northwestern was unattainable. His goal today is to change that mindset. “Northwestern was like a foreign country,” he recalls. “Part of going to Northwestern for my master’s was to show the kids growing up here that we have a tremendous university — and opportunity — in our backyard.”
Historian Jim Bendat ’71 has attended four of the last five presidential inaugurations and been part of media coverage of the event since 2000. The former Los Angeles County public defender is the author of "Democracy's Big Day: The Inauguration of Our President, 1789-2013." We asked Bendat to share some of his favorite inauguration anecdotes and to reflect on how this year’s event will be unlike any other in our history.