It's not so much what you know, it's who you know.
That hoary adage seems to apply to the University of Vermont's announcement Tuesday that Samantha Power, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, will speak at UVM's commencement ceremony next May.
Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger, a Yale graduate with a master's degree from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, undoubtedly knows a lot of what. But he also knows an important who: Power. Their longtime friendship appears to have played a key role in her accepting an invitation to deliver UVM's commencement address.
Mayoral assistant Mike Kanarick said in an email message on Wednesday that his boss had contacted the UN envoy at the request of UVM President Tom Sullivan. "The mayor is delighted that the ambassador will visit Burlington and confident that she will serve as an inspiration to UVM's graduating class," Kanarick added.
Power was also an undergraduate at Yale, where the two met as radio announcers for the Ivy League school's baseball games. They went on to co-host a sports talk show on Yale's radio station.
A few years later, Weinberger and Power were regularly running together along the Charles River while she was earning a law degree at Harvard and he was getting a master's in public policy and urban planning at the Kennedy School. They continued to bond over baseball, too. The pair attended the historic Yankees-Red Sox game at Fenway Park in 2004 when Boston began its improbable comeback from a 3-0 playoff series deficit.
Power accepted another invitation from her pal 13 years ago. She was a member of the wedding party when Weinberger married the former Stacy Sherwat.
The two hadn't seen much of one another in recent years, Weinberger said in June. They'll have a chance to catch up six months from now when the mayor's city hosts the ambassador.