Posts tagged ‘Barack Obama’

John Amaechi Meets the President


Barack Obama held a town hall meeting in London in April. Among those in attendance was John Amaechi ’94. As he explained in a blog post, Amaechi was invited to the event by the U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

Several minutes into the event, Amaechi was pulled aside by an aide because the President wanted to meet with him once the town hall ended. He watched Obama speak, then was led into a side room with a handful of celebrities.

Amaechi recalls extending his hand to Obama, receiving a hug, discussing his work as a psychologist, and getting praised for his efforts in helping the world make “huge leaps in the area of inclusion.”

He ended his post by reflecting on his meeting with the President.

I talk to leaders about how they must consider themselves giants whose whispers are shouts, for whom the impact of every action is magnified and who, by merely standing, can cast a great shadow.  I think perhaps the greatest compliment I can make of my meeting with President Obama is that while I am a man who considers myself a giant; I stood in the shadow of a greater giant and only felt brighter – and taller – for the experience.

Amaechi is no stranger to meeting politicians, as he’s received the Freedom of the City of London and is a member of the Order of the British Empire.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

June 9, 2016 at 1:12 pm 2 comments

Bernie Sanders to Speak at Rec Hall



Penn State will host its first presidential hopeful of the 2016 election cycle this week when Vermont senator Bernie Sanders makes an appearance Tuesday evening at Rec Hall. Doors open at 4 p.m., with the event expected to get underway at 6:30.

Penn State is a popular stop when candidates tour Pennsylvania: Incumbent George H.W. Bush in 1992 and then-Senator Barack Obama in 2008 held rallies on campus. (President Obama was back on campus in 2011 to promote technological advancement.) And who could forget Bill Clinton’s trip to Happy Valley in 1996, when he became the only person to mix flavors at the Creamery? The former president was at Penn State Behrend earlier this month campaigning on behalf of his wife, Hillary, whose Penn State connections run deep: Both her father, Hugh Rodham ’35, and brother Hugh ’72 are former Nittany Lion football players.

Tickets for the Sanders event are free, and you can register for them on his website. We’ll let you know if any other presidential hopefuls come to town between now and election day.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

April 18, 2016 at 10:36 am Leave a comment

Mike the Mailman Receives a Special Letter

Mike Herr has fans all over the country, and that doesn’t just include Penn Staters with stories about the university’s affable mailman. In fact, the President of the United States decided to send a note to Mike to express his admiration for Mike’s 48 years of service.

Barack Obama wrote a letter thanking Mike for “helping the Federal Government deliver on our nation’s promise and meet our responsibilities to the American people.” You can read the entire letter right here:


via Mike the Mailman

Mike posted a few additional photos onto his Facebook account on Sunday. If you’d like to join the President and congratulate Mike on his retirement, just remember that his final day is on April 1. And make sure you keep an eye out for much more on Mike’s life and career in our May/June issue.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

March 21, 2016 at 2:20 pm Leave a comment

Rick Santorum, Surging Again

It was a perfect night for Rick Santorum.

The former Pennsylvania senator once again shook up the race for the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday, winning the Minnesota and Colorado caucuses and the Missouri primary in a single night. With presumed frontrunner Mitt Romney still struggling to convince social conservatives to get behind him, the sweep by Santorum ’80, ’86g further muddied what many had seen as a clear-cut GOP nominating contest.

What Santorum’s victories mean for the long haul remains up for debate. Results in Minnesota, Colorado, and Missouri are “non-binding,” so Santorum didn’t actually secure a single delegate. But those three wins give Santorum undeniable momentum for upcoming primaries, and also bode ill for Romney even if he ultimately secures the nomination.

For his part, Santorum insists he’s thinking bigger than his party’s nomination. “I don’t stand here to claim to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney,” he said Tuesday night. “I stand here to be the conservative alternative to Barack Obama.”

Ryan Jones, senior editor

February 8, 2012 at 12:43 pm Leave a comment

Connecting with Ben Feller

One of the secrets to good reporting—and it’s not much of a secret, really—is connecting with people. So about five minutes into Ben Feller’s talk Tuesday night at the Foster Conference of Distinguished Writers, it was pretty clear how he’d risen from general assignment reporter at the Centre Daily Times (“you should read my bear-hunting stories—they’re awesome”) to chief White House correspondent for The Associated Press.

Feller ’92, who appeared on the cover of our May/June 2009 issue, talked about visiting his dad in his campus office, eating lunch with his mom at the HUB, and his favorite bar. “To this day,” he said. “If I could pick anywhere in the world to have a beer, it would be Zeno’s.”

Connection made.

And just as everyone on the Penn State football beat has a Joe Paterno imitation, Feller displayed not only a good Barack Obama, but a pretty darn good Bill Clinton, whom he never covered in the White House. Asked if he wanted to do George W. Bush, Feller said, “Not right now,” in the voice—and with the hand motions—of The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart imitating Bush.

A young woman sitting near me exclaimed, “That was awesome!” (more…)

March 30, 2011 at 5:44 pm 7 comments

President Obama Asks for Penn State’s Help in “Winning the Future”

He was only on stage Thursday for 22 minutes, but that was plenty of time for Barack Obama to cover all the bases required for a president visiting Penn State.

Joe Paterno reference? Check. “I just met this guy,” Obama said shortly after he took the stage at Rec Hall,” I hadn’t heard of him before, but apparently he coaches your football team…”

Pointing out his own Penn State connection? Check. Obama mentioned Lt. Col. Sam Price ’95, an Air Force officer charged today with “carrying the football,” aka the nuclear launch codes the president keeps near at all times, just in case.

Giving the crowd a reason to cheer? Check. In fairness, Obama didn’t have to try all that hard to get the crowd on his side — based on his reception, the president (check our Facebook page for more photos) is still wildly popular with younger voters, who made up a sizable chunk of the 3,000 audience members in the Rec Hall stands. But the president made sure he connected with Penn Staters of all ages, and with current students in particular, by emphasizing far-reaching — and, in his words, vital — goals in his brief time at University Park.

“The reason I wanted to come here, (more…)

February 3, 2011 at 6:16 pm 2 comments

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