There are many ways of giving back, and two CC alumni are examples of those who share their time and talents with current students. Gregg Easterbrook ’76 and Abigail Washburn ’99 both worked with students this fall, sharing their expertise either in a classroom or workshop setting.

Béla Fleck plays the banjo as his wife, Abigail Washburn ’99, performs a clog dance during an informal workshop for CC students during Block 1 in Packard Hall’s Room 9. Photo by Andy Colwell

Easterbrook, who graduated with a degree in political science, taught a Block 2 political science course titled Topics in Politics: Understanding American Opinion. He is a contributing editor of The Atlantic and the Washington Monthly, the author of 10 books (with another scheduled for publication next year), writes for op-ed pages, magazines, and journals, and was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences earlier this year. During the block, Easterbrook also gave a standing-room only talk that was open to the campus and community titled “Trump Lied — Why Did the Country Believe Him?”

Washburn, who was the 2012 Commencement speaker, is a Grammy Award-winning, singing (often in Mandarin Chinese), songwriting, claw hammer banjo player. She was on campus with her husband Béla Fleck, the world’s premiere banjo player. They conducted a workshop with Bluegrass Ensemble Director Keith Reed’s students and a First-Year Experience class, Creativity and Logic.

The following evening Washburn and Fleck gave a sold-out concert for campus and community members. “It’s a special thing to have such great musicians to talk one-on-one with our students,” Reed says. “It’s not an everyday experience, but that’s the experience that CC students can have.”