Sammi Bray ‘25
“When you walk into a room, do you have sway?” is the opening melody for Kara Swisher’s New York Times podcast, Sway.
When Swisher walked into the Washington Room in Mather Hall on Thursday night, standing just a few inches taller than school president, Joanne Berger-Sweeney, she had an Angry Birds backpack hanging off one shoulder.
Sitting in the second row of seats, Swisher and President Berger-Sweeney walked next to my friend, fellow first-year and Swisher super-fan, Jacob Kaplan.
“Is that her?” we asked each other excitedly. Dressed in lace-up white sneakers and jeans, Swisher looked more like the students in the room than the professors and invited guests. It was perfect. There she was, the woman who has interviewed Monica Lewinsky, Presidents Obama and Trump, and Mark Zuckerberg.
Shortly after her entrance, Swisher was introduced. During the opening statements, I watched her post a tweet— a photo near the Chapel with a reference to Harry Potter.
Swisher read part of her new book to the audience, then joked that to hear the rest, we would have to buy the book. She shared about her experiences, meeting Mark Zuckerberg for the first time, and more. Her new book, the title still in the works, documents the growth of major tech companies. Swisher noted that she did not find Zuckerberg to be a horrible person, rather a person unaware of how much power he has.
After her lecture, Swisher was presented with the Moses Berkman ‘20 Memorial Journalism Award. Berkman left the college in his junior year and joined the Hartford Post—which eventually became the Hartford Times. Beckman’s voice became incredibly influential in New England politics. Past winners of the award include Anne Garrels from National Public Radio and David Kirkpatrick of the New York Times. In 2019, the award went to Joan Biskupic, CNN Legal Analyst and Supreme Court Biographer.
After the presentation of the award, the floor was opened for questions— something Swisher encouraged throughout her time speaking. “I ask questions for a living,” she said, preferring to have a dialogue rather than just speak at the crowd. Two professors who formerly taught Trinity alumnus, Tucker Carlson, were called on first. Swisher also made a few digs at Carlson, including that she could not afford a Trinity education, calling his claims of her being an elitist, baseless.
Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and the opportunity to ask Swisher more questions.
A fellow student and I slowly approached Swisher and she greeted us kindly, asking us about our education and future goals. Joining us at the high-top table, President Berger-Sweeney continued the conversation about education and social media, a question she had asked during the ceremony. Swisher shared her view that most things could be done online quite well, but education—on all levels— was really not one of them. After conversation, Swisher took photos with students— and told us to turn the location services off on our phone.