Following Angelou's lecture, Father Sweeney wrote to Angelou that scarcely could he recall any lecturer who so "touched and delighted the audience". "Without using superlatives", he said, "it would be difficult to comment on your [Angelou's] reading". Never, to his recollection, had the audience so thundered applause during the course of "Four standing ovations", which was "without precedent in the 28 year history of the Humanities Series" (Letter from Francis Sweeney, SJ, to Maya Angelou, 22 March 1984, Box 13, Folder 46, Francis W. Sweeney, SJ, Humanities Series Director's Records, MS2002-37, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.)
Sweeney's remarks capture not only the uniqueness of Angelou's reading but also the care, warmth and personality which he brought to the directorship of the Humanities Series.
Photograph of Maya Angelou reading at Robsham Theater, Box 60, Folder 5, Francis W. Sweeney, SJ, Humanities Series Director's Records, MS2002-37, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.