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The line began to form outside Johnston Hall in mid-afternoon Thursday. Braving threatening rainclouds and thunder, hundreds of men, women and children waited patiently for hours to hear First Lady Michelle Obama speak.
By the time Mrs. Obama made her appearance shortly after 7 p.m., Johnston Hall was filled to capacity with all ages and races who shared her enthusiasm for the campaign’s new It Takes One effort. Stressing the importance of every, single supporter in the effort to grow the campaign’s national grassroots network, Mrs. Obama spoke for nearly 45 minutes.
She thanked the volunteers and organizers for what they do every day, for supporting her husband in his efforts to support “the values we believe in and the vision he shares for our country.
“Barack believes everyone should have a fair shot at good schools, a college education without a mountain of debt, the ability to retire with security and dignity, not to lose your home, and for everyone to do their fair share. This is nothing new,” she said. “These are the basic values and foundation of our country.”
Through the telling of her family story—“my parents sacrificed for us, for our education, and this story is not unique. Education is the path to the American dream”—Obama illustrated the maxim that if you work hard, you can build a better life for yourself and your children.
Mrs. Obama’s appearance was the first time a sitting first lady has spoken at Moravian College, and President Christopher Thomforde would like to encourage similar events in the future.
“Today’s event was in line with our mission—to educate students who are leaders and know how to provide service for the common good,” said Thomforde. “I was delighted to have Mrs. Obama here, and I found her to be quite gracious when we spoke before her appearance."
Obama reminded her audience that Pennsylvania will be a key state in the coming election, and every supporter can make a difference.
“People underestimate their individual power. We can all inspire one more.”
Text by Brenda Lange
Photos by John Kish IV
This campaign event at Moravian does not imply the College’s endorsement of any candidate or campaign. As an institution, Moravian College welcomes all political office holders and candidates running for office to its campus. Moravian does not discriminate based upon political affiliation and provides space if it is available to campaigns which must pay for any costs associated with their event.
Check back after noon on Friday, August 10, for more pictures from the event.