By Tom Hart
About 225 students attended Shabbat lunch in the Hillel Activities Room today and were joined by a guest speaker, 1970s college basketball star Archie Talley, who received mixed reviews from the audience.
Archie Talley, 63, holds the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics record for most points in a single season at 1,347 and has been a motivational speaker since 1984, according to his website.
“I’m here to remind you that you are rich,” Talley said.
The speaker emphasized health, education, family and a higher power as “things money can’t buy.”
Washington University St. Louis student Bobby Shoor said Talley was “very charismatic” and that his speech highlighted things relatable to all in attendance.
Not all of the audience agreed with Shoor.
“Some of the things he said were unexpected,” Director of Human Resources and Hospitality on the NHBT board Mai Shachi said.
“I didn’t get the exact point of the speech,” Brooklyn College student Moshe Bloorian said.
He added that Talley’s description of his upbringing in inner-city D.C. wasn’t quite relatable to the audience.
Shachi, a senior finance major, said she was satisfied with the event overall and had received positive feedback.
Other parts of the speech seemed to go over well. Anecdotes about Talley’s experiences with younger audiences got laughs, and several shows of dexterity with a spinning basketball received near universal applause.
But at some points Talley had difficulty holding the crowd’s attention; giving him a microphone would have violated Shabbat rules. Instead, event organizers had to periodically shush the murmuring diners. Some even had to stand due to the limited seating.
Senior history major Julius Weindruch said he thought the event went well, but also said, “It is hard to do with so many people in this kind of room.”