Campus, News

Elie Wiesel cancels lecture at BU

Boston University Professor Elie Wiesel, who was scheduled to speak Monday at Metcalf Hall for the "Elie Wiesel in Conversation with Alan Dershowitz lecture," has canceled the engagement due to health complications. PHOTO BY HEATHER GOLDIN/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Boston University Professor Elie Wiesel, who was scheduled to speak Monday at Metcalf Hall for the “Elie Wiesel in Conversation with Alan Dershowitz lecture,” has canceled the engagement due to health complications. PHOTO BY HEATHER GOLDIN/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The annual lecture given by Boston University Professor Elie Wiesel scheduled for Monday at Boston University has been canceled for the second year in a row due to health complications.

The lecture, a conversation between Wiesel and Harvard University Professor of Law Alan Dershowitz, was slated to take place in Metcalf Hall and has not been rescheduled.

“…[D]octor’s orders were keeping Prof. Wiesel from traveling to Boston,” BU spokesman Colin Riley said. “It’s unfortunate because so many were looking forward to the program.”

Wiesel is a professor of philosophy and religion at BU, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and has written more than 40 books. He received critical acclaim for his memoir, “Night,” in which he chronicles life in Auschwitz and Buchenwald during the Holocaust.

The 85-year-old Romanian-born professor also canceled his annual three-part lecture series in 2013 due to issues with his health. Wiesel has been giving lectures at BU since 1976. Historically, these lectures have been very highly anticipated and heavily attended events on campus.

Several BU students said they were saddened to hear Wiesel’s lecture was once again canceled.

“I was planning on going, so it was a little disappointing. I had read his book “Night” in eighth grade,” said Claire Russack, a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences. “It’s really too bad that I’m not going to get a chance to see him.”

Jessica Depies, a CAS sophomore, said she was not planning to attend Monday’s lecture because she anticipated the event’s cancellation.

“They sent out an email about a month in advance,” she said. “People are probably going to get to the point where they are going to stop wanting to come, because they are just going to assume that it isn’t going to happen.”

Depies said Wiesel has a great story to tell and that she hopes BU students have the chance to hear it.

“It’s really inspiring and great that he has that connection to our campus,” she said. “It’s too bad that by the time we got here, we couldn’t really take advantage of any of his resources.”

Rishi Jain, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, said though it is great to have Wiesel as a member of BU’s faculty, he wished he had the chance to hear him speak.

“It’s really unfortunate, but you can’t blame someone if they have to cancel because of age or health,” he said. “It’s cool that we get to share that a little bit, but it would have been great to actually see him.”

Samantha Smerechniak, a freshman in the College of Communication, said it would have been nice to learn history from a primary source.

“It would have been really cool to hear him speak because he survived such a crazy time,” she said. “The more people go through in life, the more they have to share and the more knowledge they have to give.”

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article described Elie Wiesel’s “Night” as a novel, when in fact, it is a memoir. The article has been updated to reflect this change.

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