Widener Law group attends inauguration
Published: January 24, 2009

About 75 students, staff and friends were a part of history on the National Mall Tuesday when they attended the inauguration of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

Student Michael Follett, president of the Democratic Law Caucus, organized the trip with support from the Student Bar Association and Debra Berry in the Office of Student Affairs. A news crew from CBS3 traveled with the students and reported on their day.

Law Dean Linda L. Ammons also attended the inauguration at the invitation of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, and she witnessed the event from the ticketed area of the mall.

Fourth-year student Joanne Spruill attended and wore her Obama T-shirt over her warm clothes. Spruill was a student in the constitutional law seminar taught on the Delaware campus by Biden and Professor Robert L. Hayman during the spring 2008 semester.

“When Vice President Biden was our professor he explained how he had championed for civil rights all his life. It made me like him all the more. He also explained when class began that this campaign was bigger than him, and bigger than any of us,” she said. “To see him sworn in and be able to say ‘I know that guy! He taught me!’ was truly an honor, and being there in D.C. for the moment made me understand how this really was bigger than all of us.”

While some of those who attended were challenged to find a viewing space on the mall that offered a meaningful look at the Jumbotrons set up for the event, that didn’t quell their enthusiasm.

“It was such an amazing day. There was a real energy in the crowd,” said Berry. “I am just so glad I was there.”

Follett said the experience was remarkable.

“I felt empowered by the words Obama spoke, the message he pronounced and the reaction he received,” he said.