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Special Olympics Director Gives Beal Lecture

Special Olympics Director Gives Beal Lecture

Special Olympics Director Gives Beal Lecture


Eva Gazova (left) and Loretta Claiborne (center) joined David Evangelista (right) during the lecture.

News Editor

November 2, 2023

Rebekah Oppenheimer '24

On Thursday, October 26, 2023, the school welcomed David Evangelista, regional president and managing director of Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia, to give the annual Beal Lecture. The Beal Lecture was created in 1983 in honor of Thaddeus Beal Jr. ’35 by John Shedd Reed ’35, his close friend and classmate. Past speakers have included feminist activist and writer Gloria Steinem, ambassador to China Nicholas Burns, and biologist Tyrone Hayes. 

Mr. Evangelista spoke about his challenges overcoming a serious childhood stutter and the inspiration he drew from his father, former president of Special Olympics Rhode Island. In his work for Special Olympics, he has visited 84 countries and now organizes their world games, the highest level of competition. 

Mr. Evangelista was joined on stage by Loretta Claiborne, six-time Special Olympics World Games gold medal winner. Ms. Claiborne has completed twenty- six marathons and serves as the chief inspiration officer for Special Olympics International. 

The school has a long relationship with Special Olympics. Mr. Keith Moon, instructor in English, history, and Russian language, is a board member of Special Olympics CT and faculty advisor to the school’s Special Olympics club. In July 2022, Mr. Moon helped launch the Special Olympics Dream Day Center in Bratislava, Slovakia, which serves Ukrainian refugee children with intellectual disabilities and their families. Mr. Moon visited the center with a group of students over spring break in 2022. 

Individual students have also pursued projects with Special Olympics over the years. Quisha Lee ’24 has exhibited her photographs of Special Olympic athletes at the school and in Hong Kong and raised $60,000 for Special Olympics CT. She received the President’s Award from Special Olympics CT. 

Commenting on the lecture, Lee said, “I loved Mr. Evangelista’s metaphor of bringing outsiders into the center circle. It accurately depicts what I wanted to achieve through my exhibitions, as I showcased the special athletes, bringing their presence to our awareness.”

Rebekah Oppenheimer is a news editor for The Record

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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