Students savor long-awaited inauguration

At 11 a.m. on Jan. 21, 2009, the Grand Maple Ballroom began to fill with people waiting to watch the inauguration of President Barack Obama.By 11:07 a.m., the hall was nearly filled to capacity with faculty, students, children, reporters and administrative staff eagerly awaiting the moment when Obama would be sworn in.Students smiled and hugged their peers, and faculty members, too, smiled ear-to-ear as they greeted their friends. There was energy in the air that could not be mistaken. “I’m very excited! It’s a very momentous time in history and I did not want to miss this,” junior Molly Kaplan said. “It’s an exciting time and I feel that Obama has a lot ahead of him.”By 11:15 a.m., the hall was so full of people that students sat on the floor, in the aisles and to the side of the chairs. Students seemed overwhelmingly excited for the new president.Students and faculty, whether they came alone or in a large group of people did not want to miss the event. If students did not attend the event held on campus, they watched from their rooms or online. One thing was for sure: there was a new energy among students during this difficult time. “I think that as a president, he has the potential to be the next John Kennedy,” freshman Gwen Williams said. “I think that he is a wonderful speaker and could do great things for this country.” “If he had a crummy support staff he could also do bad things for this country, because of his inexperience,” she said. “But, I do think he has potential.”