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Chelsea Clinton Urges Action to Help Endangered Species

Lecture Event Co-sponsored by Kean’s Distinguished Lecture Series and Lesniak Institute for American Leadership

Best-selling author Chelsea Clinton brought the message of her newest children’s book to Kean, urging a sold-out crowd at Enlow Recital Hall to protect endangered and vulnerable animals.

Nearly 500 people, many of them children, came to watch Clinton talk with former state Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak about her book, Don’t Let Them Disappear. She also took questions from the audience and signed copies of the book for guests.

“It is never too early to start caring about these issues –– saving the elephants and animal welfare,” Clinton said.

The former First Daughter appeared as the latest speaker in Kean’s Distinguished Lecture Series. The event was co-sponsored by the Lesniak Institute for American Leadership, which is housed in the STEM building and focuses on several core issues, including animal welfare.

“Saving animals from extinction has been dear to my heart for many years,” said Lesniak, who sponsored New Jersey’s toughest-in-the-nation ban on the sale of ivory. “My goal is to make New Jersey the humane state. We have these majestic animals, whether they are elephants, lions or tigers, which are endangered, and yet people are killing them as trophies.”

Clinton’s latest book, which was released last week, looks at 12 endangered species, the level of the threat of extinction that they are under, and reasons why they are endangered, which include climate change, habitat loss, hunting and poaching.

“Chelsea Clinton does what we at Kean encourage our students to do — get involved, and work for what they believe in,” said Kean President Dawood Farahi, Ph.D. “She is a good example of turning principles into action.”

Saying that the elephant is the first animal she loved as a child, Clinton called on the young people in the audience to educate their parents about the need to protect them and other animals.

"Talk to everybody you know about why it's bad to hurt and kill animals," Clinton said. "Remember, ivory always looks better on an elephant."

Kean alumna Marysella Mularz ’03 attended the event with her seven-year-old son Bishop as part of a school group from Elizabeth.

“I thought it was wonderful, especially because it was geared toward students,” she said. “I hope that the kids feel empowered to do something.”

The students in attendance heard the message.

“I am going to try to help the animals,” Bishop said.  

That sentiment was echoed by another seven-year-old from Elizabeth, Lucy Sneddon.

“I like that she talked about how we can help,” she said. “So that we don’t let them go away.”