College Community Comes Together to Watch 'A Moment in History'
LAKELAND (Jan. 20, 2009) —Members of the College community gathered at locations throughout the campus to watch the Inauguration of Barack Obama, who at noon Tuesday was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States.
About 200 people gathered in the Ordway Building to watch the ceremonies on a large, flat-screen TV draped in red, white, and blue garland. The group was invited to munch on pizza ordered by the professors who teach in the building, which is home to the Sociology, Criminology, and Psychology departments. When Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., asked the millions on the Mall in Washington to stand while Obama took his oath, the crowd in Ordway stood, as well, and they cheered during his speech along with the crowds in Washington.
About 70 faculty members, staffers, and students packed Tû Tû 's Cyber Café at the Roux Library, and it was quiet there except for the occasional whir of the cappuccino machine.
"It was so silent," said junior Courtney Vaughn, who said people seemed intent on hearing what was said. "There was not one person talking. That was neat."
Sophomore Gabriella Wallace, who also watched what she called "a moment in history" in Tû Tû 's, said she was amazed at the organization of the event and size of the crowd. "Everything moved so smoothly," she noted.
A smaller group of students sprawled on sofas in the lobby of Joseph-Reynolds Hall, where the mood was fairly serious despite the scenes on a mammoth TV screen. "Today showed me once again why it was wonderful to work for a college, and particularly our college," said Shari Szabo, assistant dean of student development, who watched in J-R. "Not only did our students stand when the President was sworn in, but they also stood when the National Anthem was sung."