A presidential inauguration is a proud and historic moment, a time when we come together to celebrate our democracy. For Columbian College students, it is also a rite of passage. On January 21, many in our community had a front row seat to the big-ticket events—the swearing-in ceremony, inaugural parade, and even the inaugural balls—that marked the beginning of President Barack Obama’s second term. What was it like to be so close to the action? Here are their thoughts:
“GW students hold the inauguration very close to their hearts. It reminds them of the very reasons that first led them to study at GW, gives them enormous pride in the city they call their ‘backyard,’ and encourages them to keep growing as students, as intellectuals, and as world citizens.”
Alexander Zafran, BA Classical Studies ‘13
“The morning of the inauguration, my friends and I woke up before sunrise to get a spot in the center of the action. It was an incredible experience to watch history unfold, and to be surrounded by the energy of the crowd.”
Elizabeth Cohen, BA Journalism and Mass Communications ‘13
“Having the opportunity to not only work on President Obama's reelection campaign, celebrate his win in front of the White House, and finally be present at his second inauguration are moments I will cherish forever. Never believing I would get to live through these historic events, I am grateful for how these experiences have enabled me to find my passion for American politics.”
Sarah Dmitrovsky, BA Political Science ‘15
“Everyone seemed to be interested in the inauguration because they wanted to be a part of history. Even people of different parties wanted to be there to be a part of the experience.”
Samantha Herman, BA Women’s Studies ’14
“It was amazing living in D.C. for the inauguration; the energy in the air leading up to it was palpable.
Andrew Silva, BA Religion ‘13
“As a freshman, I am so grateful I was in D.C. for this exciting moment for the first time. I heard about the inauguration when I toured GW, but I never thought I would have the opportunity to experience history up close.”
Charlie Temkin, BS Economics ‘16
“The GW inaugural ball was a once in a lifetime experience. I was so fortunate to celebrate the presidential inauguration [while living] in the heart of the nation’s capital!”
Morgan Stovroff, BA Environmental Studies ‘15
GW got into the spirit of the inauguration by hosting the #GWInaugural Challenge—a contest that encouraged participants to share their inauguration weekend experiences on social media. Bryce Binder, a first-year graduate student in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, won the contest and a 12-inch MacBook Air. Read more about the #GWInaugural Challenge and its winners.