W&M community celebrates Inauguration Day| January 20, 2009
The William & Mary community will join with millions of people around the world today in witnessing the inauguration of Barack Obama as the nation’s 44th president. Many William and Mary students, faculty and staff opted to brave the crowds and travel to Washington D.C. to watch the historic event first-hand.
For alumna Erica Westmoreland (’07), who is the media operations supervisor at the Swem Media Center, and her new husband, Jay (’08), the trip to D.C. has special significance. It is their honeymoon.
“I'm sure most couples would say that their honeymoon was memorable and romantic. For us, it's a gift that this inauguration should fall on our honeymoon,” said Erica. “This event will be something I will remember for the rest of my life and I'm sharing it with the person with whom I plan to share the rest of my life. We'll tell our grandchildren about the experience of witnessing this event and what it meant. It is an exciting time but also a sobering one."
The couple attended the South Dakota State Society semi-formal Monday night, and they have Senate standing-room tickets for today’s historic event at the Capitol Building. The tickets were given to them by a friend who is also a College alum.
"This inauguration marks the end of an historic election and the beginning of an historic presidency. To simply see it happen is truly awe-inspiring,” said Jay. “It is an event that reminds us of our awesome responsibility as citizens.”
Closer to home, the campus community will also have several opportunities to witness the inauguration. William & Mary President Taylor Reveley granted three hours of leave for College staff between 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. so they can watch the ceremony. People interested in watching the event live from campus can do so in Andrews 101 or the Sadler Center’s Commonwealth Auditorium, Lodge One and Tidewater Room.