Get Michelle to Scripps

Posted: November 12, 2012

Sydney Swonigan ’13 sits in front of one of Scripps College’s video editing bays, watching raw footage of seniors asking Michelle Obama to come and be their commencement speaker in May. After much deliberation, she settles on the clip that’ll begin her magnum opus – a brief interview with Kari Geiger ’13 in Sycamore Court.

“What inspires you about First Lady Michelle Obama?” Sydney asks behind the camera.

“What doesn’t inspire me?” Kari responds, laughing.

A few days later, Sydney’s done with the video project. It’s a two and one-half minute tribute she’s hoping will get enough traction with social media to entice the First Lady to come to Claremont and speak!

“This all began when I was a first-year student chatting with my roommates about how amazing it would be to have Michelle Obama speak at our graduation,” Sydney says. “Once sophomore year hit, I began asking Scripps faculty and administrative staff how I should go about making a strong commencement invitation for Michelle Obama.”

Sydney looked to Spelman College’s successful 2010-2011 campaign to woo Michelle Obama to their campus as inspiration. “The support for Michelle was clear and it has only continued to grow as Sydney and the entire Commencement Speaker Committee have rallied our class and made this dream seem possible,” adds Scripps Associated Students (SAS) president Emily Jovais ’13.

“Working towards asking Mrs. Obama to be our commencement speaker has galvanized our community—we’ve come together as a class with this goal and would love to have someone as strong and empowered as Mrs. Obama to symbolize the four years we’ve spent together,” says Kari. “Michelle is a symbol of female success and empowerment. She lets us be unafraid to ‘wear the pants’.”

“I am inspired by the mobilization,” adds Emily. “I know this would mean so much — not only for the senior class but for all Scripps students and the institution as a whole. The impact of her presence on campus would be vast and something for us to remember always. She represents our values and her intelligence and integrity make her a fantastic role model for the Class of 2013.”

Help the Scripps College Class of 2013 bring Michelle to campus by viewing (and liking!) their video on Facebook, fill out the online contact form, and send out tweets with #MichelleAtScripps and @scrippscollege at the end to raise awareness online. We can make this happen!

Above: The Class of 2013 Commencement Committee. From left to right: Bayley Clarke, Mary Hershewe, Anna Silverman, Kari Geiger, Sydney Swonigan, and Fabiola Ceja-Cervantes. Absent: Priya Srivats.

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