Broadcasting change, inspiring hope

Rocio Romero

More than 200 Pierce College students, faculty and staff became part of history when they witnessed the presidential inauguration of the 44th President Barack Hussein Obama.

The doors to Pierce’s Great Hall opened early morning allowing students, administration, faculty and staff to fill seats while others sat on tables and dozens stood and flowed outside waiting for the then President-elect.

Many of their faces reflected various reactions including hope and jubilee, while others had tears running down their faces as the ceremony progressed.

Stephanie Winnard, 39, part-time psychology professor who has been teaching at Pierce for the past two years, expressed her emotions throughout the inauguration with tears of joy. Winnard sat near the front wearing a baby blue Barack Obama shirt. She was one of the few who arrived early to be part of this historic event.

“I am so happy for this day. (These are) tears of joy. Tears of hope,” Winnard said.

An event that has brought young people enthusiastically involved in politics is something Winnard was glad to see.

“I haven’t seen a candidate that captures the youth like Obama has,” she said.

Pierce President Robert Garber was satisfied with the turnout to the streaming of the presidential inauguration at the Great Hall. Garber as well as Winnard were pleased to see how the majority of students had their eyes glued to the big screen.

“It’s a moment of history where young people are interested and they can relate,” Garber said.

Streaming a presidential inauguration at Pierce hasn’t been done before.

An event that is history in the making was another reason why Garber felt it would be a good idea to show it, because “… this is a time where people can see that anything is possible regardless what your background is.”

Psychology professor, Stephanie Winnard (right), wipes “tears of joy” from her face as she watches the inauguration of President Barack Obama the morning of Jan. 20, 2009. (Gil Riego Jr. – Roundup)

A jammed pack Great Hall cheers at the end of President Obama’s swearing-in ceremony the morning of Jan. 20, 2009. (Gil Riego Jr. – Roundup)