I probably sound like a heretic, but today’s inauguration was borderline anti-climax.
It’s probably because I had just rushed back from a meeting with our president who is concerned about current application stats. It was a long, cold walk back from her office to mine.
I arrived at the office just in time to see Obama sworn in, something I’ve waited a long time for.
His speech concise, powerful and flawlessly delivered — just what I’ve come to expect from Barack Obama, who we finally can call President Obama.
On one hand I stood in front of the TV thankful to be a part of one of the most dramatic and paradigm-shifting moments in American history.
Like millions of others, I felt a sense of hope for the first time in years.
The other part of me was wrestling with the enrollment challenge. Most of our incoming students are first generation college bound. Most of them don’t have a lot of financial resources. I’m sure that many of their parents right now are out of work.
Marketing and recruiting is more challenging than ever.
For the first time I felt a direct connection between our U.S. President and our university’s health. The job he does over the next four years affects how I do my job.
Can he start piecing the economy back together? Can he create the jobs he envisions?
Can we convince students to invest in themselves in one of the most dire times in decades?
Slashing through the bleakness are rays of hope, but those rays are long-term. The challenges we face on our campus are immediate.
I recorded the whole inauguration so I’ll watch it and see if I can capture some of the large emotions felt by so many who have waited for so long.
President Obama starts work tomorrow. And I’ll sit down with the admissions director and continue our work.
In the meantime, Obama is the new cool. As one expert put it, “he’s street cool, family cool, technology cool and culture cool.” It will be good for the country if he maintains his cool.
Terry Gross’ FreshAir interview with street artist Shepard Fairey is one of the great stories of this campaign. Actually, it’s a great American story. Fairey, a street artist and patriot who’s been arrested 14 times, created one of the campaign’s most iconic images of Obama. The “Hope” poster is now headed to the Smithsonian.
Finally, if you don’t think Obama has street cred, these criminal mug shots should remove all doubts.