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Student to Attend Inauguration


A Guelph student has been invited to witness first-hand what millions around the world will only read about or watch on TV: the inauguration of U.S. president-elect Barack Obama.

Daniele Magditsch, a third-year environmental biology student from Brampton, is headed to Washington, D.C., with a group of outstanding university students from around the world to observe history in the making. Obama will be sworn in as the first African American president of the United States Jan. 20.

“It will be a life-changing experience and a great honour to witness this incredible milestone in history,” says Magditsch, who will be attending the University Presidential Inauguration Conference Jan. 17 to 21.

The conference gives students an opportunity to take part in the events surrounding the inauguration. Besides witnessing the ceremonies and the parade, they will attend a black-tie gala, visit historical sites and meet with U.S. political leaders, including former vice-president Al Gore and former secretary of state Colin Powell.

Magditsch was chosen to participate based on her leadership skills and community involvement, as well as her attendance at the 2004 Global Young Leaders Conference run by the same organization. She received the invitation last summer when Obama and Hillary Clinton were battling for the Democratic nomination.

Besides learning more about the American political system, Magditsch is looking forward to meeting other international students to discuss how changes in the United States might affect their countries. As for the possibility that she might actually meet the new president, she's already been told what to say by at least one family member.

“My cousin told me to tell him to name his new dog after her — Juliana. She's really excited. She's only seven.”