By, MATT HEINLE
October 21, 2011
When Cory Booker, the current mayor of Newark, N.J., entered Lenfell Hall on the College at Florham campus, a collective shudder of excitement could almost be felt rippling through the capacity crowd.
His lecture concerning “Current Leadership Challenges in Public Administration and Education” began approximately three-quarters of an hour after the scheduled 1 p.m. start time, but the extra wait did nothing to curb the enthusiasm the crowd had for the speaker.
If anything, the anticipation amplified the collective feeling of excitement.
“I’m here because [Booker] is a very dynamic personality,” said Gary Bonacci, a graduate student from FDU’s Metropolitan campus, who accepted an invitation extended by one of his professors to attend the lecture. “He’s doing a lot to reinvent the city of Newark, and hopefully I can learn something from him. There’s just so much to do there, I admire him for his drive.”
After Booker arrived, his first impression did nothing to disappoint his audience’s expectations. He inconspicuously took a seat in the front row, and enjoyed a brief but eloquent introduction affirming his already substantial accomplishments both inside and out of the political sector.