He Had a Hammer... | Teachers College Columbia University

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He Had a Hammer...

The world bids adieu to Pete Seeger, 2003 TC medalist and performer at the College's Rockin' Earth Day Festival in 2009
“This world is going to be saved not by big things but by millions and millions of little things,” folk music legend and environmental activist Pete Seeger told listeners in 2009 when he performed in Russell Courtyard at TC's Rockin' Earth Day Festival. Switching between his banjo and 12-string guitar, Seeger sang classics that day such as “This Land is Your Land” and “Take It from Dr. King.” Then-student Jaymie Stein, who organized the event, said she chose Seeger "because of his commitment to the environment and the way he lives his life” but also because "Pete has a way of reaching newborn babies all the way up to elderly people. It’s a beautiful thing to watch and be a part of.”

Six years earlier, after receiving TC's Medal for Distinguished Service, Seeger had led an audience at the College's commencement ceremonies in singing, "Turn, Turn, Turn." Afterwards, his assertion that Musicians can teach the politicians that not everyone has to sing the melody" drew a standing ovation.

To learn more about Seeger, read the obituary in The New York Times.

Published Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014