Hill Harper encourages students to dream big at keynote address

Kayla Swanson

A different kind of “Harper-mania” took over WKU tonight.

Actor, New York Times bestselling author, mentor and activist Hill Harper spoke to students, faculty and members of the WKU community for the Black History Month Keynote Address tonight.

Those who attended the event in the DUC Auditorium listened to Harper speak on how to become “active architects of our lives.” Harper explained that this must be done by sketching a blueprint, building a foundation, creating a strong framework and having open doorways.

“Unless you’re dreaming big, you won’t take the time to sketch out a blueprint or build a foundation to support those huge dreams,” Harper said.

Harper interacted with the audience throughout the presentation, walking around the auditorium and speaking directly with audience members.

Louisville senior Darien Green attended the presentation because he has followed Harper’s work.

Green wants to work with young people after graduation and said he will use Harper’s inspiration from tonight’s presentation to help him.

The Campus Activities Board, WKU Counseling and Testing Center, WKU Career Services, WKU African American Studies, WKU Housing and Residence Life and the Office of Diversity Programs sponsored the address.

The WKU Black History Celebration and Cultural Preservation Committee also played a key role in organizing the event.

Michelle Hollis, interim director for the Office of Diversity Programs, hopes those who attended the presentation learned “to get their blueprint in order and dream big.”

The one thing Harper hopes people will remember from his presentation is to not let fear stop them.

“Fears stop us because most of the fears we have, have been inherited and most of them aren’t real,” he said.

Black History Month events continue through Feb. 29.