First campus inauguration party draws crowd of 200

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    Director of Student Organizations Forrest Lane said he has been to a presidential inauguration before, but he has never seen anything like this watch party.

    About 200 students, faculty, and staff met in the Brown-Lupton University Union auditorium to watch the inauguration of President Barack Obama as he was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States.

    Another senior interior design major, Stephanie Chlipala said her four-hour design class was given a recess by their teacher to watch the inauguration.

    “We voted and everyone decided to come,” Chlipala said. “It’s exciting for all of us no matter who it is, because he’s everyone’s new president, no matter who we voted for.”

    The audience in the BLUU auditorium cheered for many of Obama’s inspirational messages throughout his speech, as did the crowd in Washington, which reached around 2 million people.

    Emily Chan, a freshman strategic communications major, was surprised that so many people could come together to hear one man speak.

    “I heard (the crowd) stretched for two miles,” Chan said. “It’s just crazy to think everyone across the country was listening and inspired by the same thing.”

    Natalie Boone, assistant director of the BLUU, said she started planning something for Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month and thought an inauguration watch party would be successful.

    This historic occasion sparked many watch parties throughout the country, but this is the first time that the university held an inauguration watch party, Boone said.

    Chuck Dunning, director of TCU Transitions, said his favorite part was the benediction because the Rev. Joseph Lowery, the founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Coalition, gave it.

    “I’m so happy so many diverse people realize this is a historical event,” Dunning said. “I’m happy the country has taken a turn for a different set of values. It’s like the poet and the preacher said, to embrace love, and let that be what it’s about.”

    Check the video player on the top right for student reactions on the Inauguration.