U2 Spends ‘A Beautiful Day’ at Fordham

By Virginia Breen

Mar 6, 2009 6:05pm

ABC News On Campus reporter Lauren Gilger blogs:

I was awakened by a group of girls chanting “Bono, Bono” outside my window at about 5 a.m. Friday. “Good Morning America” gave Fordham University students a reason to wake up early today by bringing U2 to our campus.

U2′s appearance began as a rumor, something mentioned in passing on a Facebook home page and between classes. Then the Facebook invite came from our student government. The first line of the event page read: “First of all, this is totally legit.” A total of 1,966 people confirmed their attendance.

Very quickly, an air of excitement took over the campus: “U2 is coming to Fordham? What? Why? No … really?” Profile pictures turned from smiling faces to Bono’s sunglasses-clad scowl. A local bar announced a "Drink Up" to start immediately after the concert ended at 9 a.m., and rumors swirled about students selling IDs on EBay at a significant markup from their original cost of $25.

They came. For the first time ever, international superband, social activists and all-around rock Gods U2 played on morning television. And it took place in the middle of my campus.

Edward’s Parade, the quad in the middle of Fordham’s Rose Hill Campus in the Bronx (Eddie’s, as it’s known to students), plays host to flocks of geese in the winter and Frisbee-flinging students in the spring.  But today, Eddie’s was the site of rock history. Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. played five songs live, on air and in the cold, in front of a screaming throng that Fordham’s President, Fr. Joseph McShane, called "members of the best Jesuit University in the nation."

We made it to the quad only to discover that just about everyone else on campus had gotten there even earlier — some had midnight breakfasts and others never went to bed.  About an hour of waiting in line later, students rushed the snow-covered quad and watched national television unfold.

When Bono sang out the chorus of “It’s a Beautiful Day” with what seemed like the entire student body joining in at the top of our lungs, it truly was one for Fordham.

The night before the event, Dean of Students Christopher Rogers had sent out several rather giddy e-mails to the entire campus, full of event details and lofty statements such as, “I think it’s fair to say that we will remember the day U2 played on Edwards Parade for a long time to come.”

He was right. As a graduating senior at Fordham, I certainly won’t ever forget it.

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