Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
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Brand new day

Posted on January 21, 2009

Nearly 1,000 students, faculty and staff gathered in the Haas Athletic Center yesterday to watch the inauguration of  President Obama. For awhile, the Emerson Gym became the campus living room, with all eyes on the large screen television installed for the occasion.

The Attleboro Sun Chronicle joined the college crowd and talked with a number of students about their views of the moment.

"When we get older, this is going to be in the history books," sophomore Alessia Viscomi said, according to the Sun Chronicle, which also quoted many others in the audience in stories published in the Jan. 21 edition of the newspaper.

Junior Gabriel Amo reflected on how Obama's inauguration has changed the context of his aspirations and the world around him.

"When I was younger, I always said I wanted to be president," Amo said. "And that was with the understanding that I'd be the first black president."

"Now, if I still have that dream, I wouldn't carry that burden," he said. "I know that America would be accepting."

Amo said watching Obama's inauguration was exciting because he knew he was watching something that would go down in American history.

"The collective understanding of what a special moment this is made it even better," he said.

Professor of Political Science Darlene Boroviak offered the campus gathering a brief primer on all things inaugural, noting its symbolic importance as a "sign of constitutional stability." She later assessed Obama's speech for The Enterprise (Brockton, Mass):

With its talk of economic crisis and war, Obama’s address was serious, challenging the American public and making clear to the world the nation intends to change course from the last eight years, she said.

“He did what he needed to do. It was a talk that did not disappoint,” she said.

Noteworthy was Obama’s reference to scripture and the call to “put away childish things,” and America’s status as a young republic, Boroviak said.

“He challenged us, in essence, to grow up,” she said.

Sources: The Sun Chronicle and The Enterprise

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