Students, faculty, staff, and alumni gather for the Inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Members of the Moravian College community marked the Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, with applause, music, cheers, and a few tears on Tuesday, January 20, 2009. Faculty, staff, and students gathered in Prosser Auditorium around noon to watch the larger-than-life, televised event on the big screen, while NBC 10 Philadelphia and WFMZ-TV 69 News crews captured the spirit and reactions for pieces that aired that evening.

Julia Gasdaska, assistant director of alumni relations, and undergraduate students Timothy Layng and Anne Joseph were interviewed by NBC 10. "President Obama represents a new kind of president—very dynamic and positive," said Julia Gasdaska. "He’s a role model that our generation can relate to."

"I made a point of coming to Prosser to watch the Inauguration because I wanted to really listen to Obama's speech," commented Anne Joseph '12. "I hope President Obama will lead the country in a better direction than it has gone in the past eight years. I hope his administration can restore faith in the hearts of every American by repairing this country."

"President Obama represents a new kind of president—dynamic and positive," said Julia Gasdaska.

Timothy Layng '12 (top) and Julia Gasdaska (above), assistant director of alumni relations, were interviewed by NBC 10 for their reactions following the Inauguration of President Barack Obama. Photos by John Kish IV

"The Inauguration of our first black President is a milestone," added Timothy Layng '12, "but I feel we now need to look past our political barriers to find our way out of this faltering economy. Black or white, Republican or Democrat, we are first and foremost humans. We need to set aside our differences so that we can emerge from this recession a stronger and more united nation."

"I view President Obama as an open-minded individual with confidence and compassion, something the United States is in dire need of," said Brian Maida '09, an economics major. "But I am still a bit skeptical of all politicians. My hope is that President Obama and the new administration will begin to reduce our reliance on foreign oil, do what is right in Iraq and Afghanistan based on a desire to help, rebuild the economy from the bottom up, cut wasteful spending, and rid the U.S. of corrupt politicians who use their power in immoral ways."

Alumni in Washington

Geoffrey Roche '08 (left) and Calvin Jones '07 joined the crowd of more than 1.5 million in Washington, D.C. Roche's tickets provided one of the better views.

Several Moravian alumni traveled to Washington, D.C., to witness and participate in the occasion. Geoffrey Roche '08 received two silver tickets to the Inauguration, courtesy of Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski. (Read Geoffrey's first-hand account and see photos here.)

Greg Seifert '81, husband of Moravian artist-lecturer Kimberly Seifert, played trumpet with the James Gerard Orchestra at the Biden Home States Inaugural Ball. Although the group has played at a number of high-profile events, playing at the inaugural ball (one of ten official inaugural balls) ranks at the top. The invitation to play at the ball was facilitated by U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan, who heard the Gerard Orchestra play at a wedding reception in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.


Greg Seifert '81, a member of the James Gerard Orchestra, performed at the Biden Home States Inaugural Ball. Photo by Steven M. Falk