In response to overwhelming student demand for tickets, Yale will relocate the Oct. 6 Tercentennial symposium featuring former President Bill Clinton LAW ’73 from Woolsey Hall to Cross Campus, University Secretary Linda Lorimer said Wednesday night.
The move outside will enable 8,000 people to see Clinton, who will speak alongside a distinguished panel of Yale professors discussing democracy and globalization.
“We’re both overwhelmed and overjoyed by the response of the community for President Clinton’s visit,” Lorimer said. “I’m really excited that we now have the opportunity to have him speak to so many people.”
Yale administrators had received more than 8,000 ticket requests for the event by Wednesday afternoon. Only those who submitted online request forms by mid-afternoon will be allotted tickets to gain entry to Cross Campus, Lorimer said.
A lottery for tickets in Woolsey Hall, which has a limited capacity of 2,400, had been announced earlier Wednesday in a University-wide e-mail. Despite the event’s subsequent relocation, the lottery will still likely take place so that Woolsey Hall can still be used in case of rain.
The symposium will begin at 3 p.m. on Oct. 6, lasting one hour, and will be telecast throughout campus on all Yale television stations. Several television networks may also carry the event, Lorimer said.
Cross Campus was already slated to accommodate a large crowd Oct. 5 for a convocation featuring academic leaders from around the world. The convocation will kick off the third tercentennial gala weekend, which has been planned specifically as a celebration for students.
For Clinton’s outdoor speech, the tercentennial staff must now take extra security precautions and ensure that all of the necessary equipment is rented for an additional day.
Lorimer said she contacted Clinton’s staff late this afternoon and they approved an outside appearance for the former president.
Student leaders are pleased with the move, noting the administration responded quickly to the overwhelming demand for tickets.
“They’re just taking that into account and doing what they should do,” Yale College Council President Vidhya Prabhakaran ’03 said. “It’s a good move — it’s the best possible thing they could have done and I’m sure everyone is happy they did it.”
Following the academic convocation Oct. 5, a party is scheduled that night at the Yale Bowl, featuring dinner for all participants, fireworks, concerts, celebrity performances and a laser-light show.
Clinton will headline Saturday’s events and the weekend will conclude Sunday with a Yale football game against Dartmouth and a free Counting Crows concert on Old Campus.