There were tears of joy, pride and hope at the Washburn University watch party in Mabee Library Tuesday morning.
"I think this is emotional because nobody thought they would live to see it," said Eric Moss, a Washburn University employee. "It shows that our country is greater than our ideas about it."
Others say the new administration provides hope for the nation, which Washburn Assistant Professor of History, Kim Morse, said has been through so much. "This election means that any of us can do anything that we need to, anything we should do, anything we have the right to do. And that's the first time we've ever been able to say that," Morse said. "There's going to be so many wonderful firsts after this."
Aretha Franklin's performance of "Our Country Tis of Thee" and President Obama's speech stirred emotions in the crowd. They brought Washburn junior, Monika Adame, to tears. "Since the beginning, I've felt inspired by him," she said. "He wants us to be strong... Every emotion in me is just screaming and I can't help but cry because I just am so proud that our country has become what we have become."
Even some who didn't vote Obama into office were moved by his speech. "I didn't even vote for Obama but I'm such a fan now," said Phil Norris, a senior at Washburn. "I think he's given a voice to a lot of people who don't have a voice or haven't had one historically."