LSU Students Watch Obama, America, Make History

While an estimated two million people braved the cold in Washington, D.C., to watch Barack Obama make history on January 20, a further 200 assembled in the warmth of the LSU Student Union to share the experience with their peers.

Students and staff of all races and nationalities gathered in the Cotillion Ballroom to watch the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony and swearing-in of Obama, the first African American president in United States history. The crowd sat and watched silently during pastor Rick Warren’s invocation and Vice President Joe Biden Jr.’s swearing-in, before standing to attention as Obama came to the front of the stage and placed his hand on Abraham Lincoln’s 1861 inaugural bible to take the Oath of Office.

When Chief Justice John Roberts closed the Oath with the words, “Congratulations, Mr. President,” the silence turned to thunderous applause and cheers in the crowded ballroom, echoing the scene in the nation’s capital 1,000 miles away.

A comment wall, bare when the live C-SPAN broadcast started at 10 a.m., was covered in messages from Obama supporters by the time the ceremony ended at 11:30, many of whom hailed the Obama inauguration as not just a great day for America, but the world.

Jim Zietz | Senior Photographer | Eddy Perez | Photographer | Damian Foley | Editor
Communications & University Relations
January 2009