Alumnus, radio host shares international knowledge

About 20 clubs and organizations recently came together November 6 for International Education Night at Glenbrook North. The night was intended to allow students to expand their global perspective, explore internationally-focused learning opportunities, and network with people who share similar interests. 

Attendees were honored to have alumnus Jerome McDonnell (’79) visit as the event’s keynote speaker. McDonnell is the host of Worldview, a daily international affairs radio show on WBEZ. He has worked as the show’s host for more than two decades.

McDonnell said this visit was his first time back at GBN since graduating.

“Some things were the same, but a lot of things were really different,” he said. “It’s fun to go back. I enjoyed meeting new people and new teachers.”

Growing up, McDonnell said his favorite subjects were history, English and humanities. He decided to go into communications and broadcasting due his curiosity of world happenings.

“Every day is the same and different,” McDonnell said. “I read the newspapers every day as I head into work. I coordinate with our staff to do the show of the day, and I’m always planning ahead to the next show. The topics vary but I definitely have homework to do every night. I’m currently reading about international law.”

When asked if he has any advice to offer current students, McDonnell said he would encourage them to travel abroad and learn a second language. 

“I wish I learned a second language thoroughly,” he said. 

McDonnell also encouraged students to read and actively participate in society.

“With the internet, you can read about international affairs anywhere,” he said, noting that he regularly subscribes to publications from all over the world. 

Joshua Yang, a junior at GBN, said that he attended International Education Night for the first time this year.

“I was pleasantly surprised to see the sheer number of cultures that were at the event,” Yang said. “[I learned that] the cultural communities in the U.S. are extremely well-developed and fascinating.”

Yang said his favorite parts of the evening were watching the visiting Barrington High School Baile Folklorico dancers perform and listening to McDonnell speak. 

“The dancers created an atmosphere of joy and celebration, and Mr. McDonnell’s speech was very informative,” he said. “It galvanized me to become more interested in learning about the world’s cultures.”

Learn more about the GBN Global Awareness Committee

Alumnus, radio host shares international knowledge