Yusuf Word, president of University of Puget Sound’s student association, rose when many college students are normally hitting the hay in order to attend Obama’s speech in D.C.
"We left the house at 4 a.m. and were downtown around 4:30," said the 22-year-old senior, who is majoring in communications studies. “They let us in at 8 a.m. and we were there until about 1."
Word said he was struck by the diversity of the crowd, in terms of both race and age.
"It was great feeling all that positive energy," he said.
It was Obama who inspired Word to run for student government and Word
is also the first African American elected to his post.
While he was able to see Obama on a big screen nearby, people in his part of the throng had to huddle around a portable radio someone had brought.
"People ask, ‘Is he really going to be able to bring people together?’ " Word said. "I think it’s obvious today, when you see all those people waiting 7-8 hours just to see him for a second."