Two Kansas State University history professors attended the inauguration on Monday in Washington D.C. Jim Sherow, who is also a city commissioner, and his wife, Bonnie Lynn-Sherow, received two tickets to the presidential inauguration as part of their co-authoring a paper written about K-State being the first functioning land-grant college—a program started during the Lincoln administration. The paper was one of 10 other papers covering various aspects of Lincoln’s administration that was given to each of the 200 attendees at inaugural luncheon. While Jim and Bonnie did not attend the luncheon, they did get one of the coveted seats directly in front of the podium at the National Mall.
“We had wonderful seats,” Bonnie said. “We had a clear view of the President and the people at the podium to speak, but we couldn’t see who was coming through the portico.”
Bonnie said it was almost surreal to be surrounded by the millions of people in attendance. She said it was breathtaking to look behind her as crowds flocked to the Mall to hear the President speak. She said the President’s speech was powerful. She said she is finished with listening to small ideas, and was “really encouraged” to hear President Barak Obama talk about “big ideas and very forward thinking.”
She said the atmosphere was excited, but not like a party. She said it was “more like your favorite child is getting married.”
She said they took pictures and shared stories with the people sitting near them. They met people from all over the nation and from all nationalities. She said they met the niece of Medgar Evers, who was sitting next to them. She said they were also seated next to a couple from New York City.
“We talked about climate change, gun control and things that were very important to all of us,” she said.