Teddy Roosevelt Impersonator Visits Kent


Richie Kendall, Campus Reporter

On Tuesday, January 7, Joe Wiegand, a renowned Teddy Roosevelt historian, visited Kent’s campus. Wiegand has performed as Roosevelt in all fifty states and even in the White House, participating in the 150th celebration of the president’s birth. He is widely regarded as the foremost Roosevelt impersonator.

While at Kent, Mr. Wiegand not only addressed the student body during chapel but also spoke in economics classes throughout the day. With his rounded spectacles and top hat, he cut an unmistakable figure as soon as he set foot on campus. He was well received by students and teachers alike.

During his chapel speech, Wiegand urged students to leave the world a better place than they found it, a sentiment Roosevelt himself modeled. In addition to this moving message, Wiegand’s visit also proved to be an excellent supplement to the history department and its curriculum.

During his visits to the economics classes, Wiegand discussed many of Roosevelt’s lasting policies such as the “Square Deal,” which put regulations on the railroad industry as well as created the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Both of these still exist in modern-day. Gray Madan ’20 said that Wiegand’s visit to his class was “both informative and entertaining” and that “every student was engaged thoroughly throughout the period.”

Ms. Thomsen, the Chair of the History Department, mentioned that Wiegand’s visit was extremely beneficial because he was able “to bring history to life for students to engage directly with.” Similarly, she said, “Biography can be a strong way for individuals to see their own lives reflected in a topic.”