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Tommy Nugent's Preacherman (Presented by Secular Student Alliance at College of Southern Idaho)


In December 2011, SSA at CSI was able to host David Bazan thanks to Speakers Bureau from the national SSA. This article redsummarizes the experiences of that event for the group.

Tommy Nugent presented his one-man show, “Preacherman” at the College of Southern Idaho on Wednesday, December 7, 2011.  Through a combination of funding through the Secular Student Alliance ($300) and our club account at CSI ($200), we were able to cover Tommy’s travel expenses ($430 airfare, $70 hotel) and bring his show to a crowd of sixty people (our best attendance for an SSA event at CSI this year!) in the CSI Fine Arts Recital Hall.

The crowd in attendance (roughly 25 students & 35 members of the community) thoroughly enjoyed Tommy’s humorous and insightful hour-long monologue and the “hang” afterwards in the recital hall was compelling as audience members shared their personal journeys to enlightenment with Mr. Nugent.  Tommy elaborated on the impact his journey to atheism has had on relations with members of his family and this stimulated an impromptu forum on the topic with several of the audience members (students & community members).  The stories ranged from comic to tragic and provided a stimulating finale to Tommy’s visit to our college.

As a result of Mr. Nugent’s presentation, we were able to meet several new freethinkers (about twenty) in the two guysTwin Falls area who told us they were planning to attend future meetings of our group.  We also had a number of high school students (roughly eight to ten) from the Twin Falls High School Freethinkers group (another SSA affiliate) in attendance and we plan to collaborate with them during the spring semester on a number of projects (including a “Darwin Day” event in February).  

The SSA at CSI would like to thank the Secular Student Alliance for its generous donation of $300 for this event.  We would not have been able to bring Tommy Nugent to our campus without this additional funding.  I am sure the SSA groups at Boise State University (Boise, ID) and Idaho State University (Pocatello, ID) which were part of his “Idaho Tour” are also grateful for any assistance provided by the Secular Student Alliance. We look forward to working again with the SSA in the future and thank you for all your hard work in organizing events on campuses around the country.

This article was written by the members of SSA @ College of Southern Idaho.

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