fb-pixelNortheastern president gets funky with Nobel recipient - The Boston Globe Skip to main content

Northeastern president gets funky with Nobel recipient

It’s not every day that the president of a large, private college gets low and bops to the rhythm of the music.

But if you’re Northeastern University oresident Joseph Aoun, it’s not totally unheard of.

During an event at the school this month with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Leymah Gbowee, Aoun challenged the interfaith leader to an impromptu dance-off.

Gbowee, who helped bring an end to the second Liberian Civil War in 2003 through peace protests, at first refused to dance, because there was no music playing.

“That’s not how we do it,” she told Aoun, drawing laughs from the audience.


But the lack of tunes didn’t stop her from eventually teaching Aoun to “get low.”

What proceeded was a series of twists and shakes — there were also some awkward, stiff hand movements — on stage during the event. Shortly after, some music came through the speakers, and the dancing was kicked up a notch.

Gbowee was invited to Northeastern on Feb. 11, as part of the New England Interfaith Student Summit held at the school’s campus, according to school officials.

After giving a speech at the school’s Blackman Auditorium, Gbowee sat down with Aoun for a conversation.

Aoun, although not much of a dancer, is known for his outgoing personality.

Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com.