By Buddy Herberg, ’13
“I stood witness to a historic
event alongside hundreds of thousands of other people. It was a once in a
lifetime opportunity,” said Stritch sophomore Josh Roberts on his experience
attending the inauguration of President Barack Obama in January.
Roberts, who grew up more than
3,000 miles from the United States, in Wales, recently seized an opportunity to
travel with more than 40 other Stritch students and staff to this nation’s
capital to attend the Presidential Inauguration. Roberts, being from a foreign nation,
appreciated every aspect the trip had to offer.
“We got our own exclusive tour of the Pentagon, went to the Holocaust Museum,
saw the White House, Lincoln Memorial, and even the Space and Air Museum,” said
The inauguration trip provided students with a variety of
activities of historical significance and personal fulfillment. Many of the
students who went on the trip had never been to Washington D.C. before. Senior
Communications major Heather McGlothlin spoke of her personal experience of
adaptation to a new place.
“I had never been to Washington D.C. before this trip and
there were so many aspects of the experience I can now share with others,” said
McGlothlin. “I would have never seen landmarks like the 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon
and something as simple as riding the Metro would have never been part of my
McGlothlin’s new experiences were not solely limited to the
attractions D.C. had to offer, though.
itself was amazing. But other parts of the trip really impacted me as well.
Getting along with a group of people who before, I never would have interacted
with, helped me create new friendships,” said McGlothlin.
Matt Goodwin, who assumed the role of assistant dean of
students at Stritch in the fall of 2011, had a vision to create programming
that provides students with an exceptionally memorable college experience. The
trip to Washington D.C. for the inauguration of President Obama has helped more
40 students in realizing that vision.
“College students, particularly college students at Stritch,
have an obligation to have these types of opportunities to engage in discussion
of this civic process and moral purpose,” said Goodwin.
Junior psychology major Ryan DeRosa had no hesitation when
saying the most memorable moment of his trip was hearing President Obama speak
“You see President Obama on TV and he’s just another great
speaker. But seeing him in person is something completely different,” said
DeRosa. “He is such a charismatic speaker and the boldness of his tone gives
you a whole new perspective of him. It seems like he’s speaking to you
personally, instead of at you.”
While DeRosa strongly valued the civic aspects of the trip,
as a Franciscan university, Stritch also infuses service into its student trips.
As part of the trip, Goodwin organized an effort for Stritch
students to assist efforts at a local homeless shelter, serving dinner to more
than 400 homeless men. Because the visitors of that particular shelter are only
served dinner and allowed to sleep there during the night, Stritch students also
made more than 2,000 breakfast bags (brown paper bags that contained foods such
as oranges, granola bars, and fruit snacks) and handed out more than 400 the next morning . The
remaining 1,500 were delivered to other shelters across town for the same
“Seeing the inauguration was just one more great thing
Stritch has allowed me to do, but it also provided me with a chance to help
others in the process, said sophomore Ashley Singers. “ I enjoyed that service
part of the trip more than any other. It was truly something special.”