Nation & World

Obama inauguration can be seen on campus

4 min read

When Barack Obama is sworn in on Tuesday (Jan. 20), Harvard will celebrate its eighth alumnus to serve as president of the United States with campus-wide coverage of the inauguration.

To allow the Harvard community to view the historic event, Harvard’s University Information Systems (UIS) will stream the inauguration live beginning with the musical prelude at 10 a.m. (The formal program begins at 11:30 a.m.) UIS’s coverage will continue through Obama taking the Oath of Office, concluding upon his exit from the stage. (See full list of events below.)

For desktop viewing, go to UIS recommends the use of RealPlayer to view the webcast.

For those with access to the Harvard Video Network IPTV system, the event will be shown on CSPAN 1 and/or CSPAN 2, HVN Channels 400 and 401.

UIS will also archive the inauguration for post-event on-demand viewing at

In addition, the following locations will be airing the inauguration

• Harvard Business School, Soldiers Field. Live broadcasts in Spangler Auditorium, Aldrich 112, and the Spangler Grill at 11:30 a.m. For those with scheduling conflicts, the ceremony will be re-broadcast at 1:30 and 3 p.m. in Aldrich 112.

Harvard Kennedy School Forum, 79 JFK St. Featuring a live broadcast in the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum.

Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Ave. Featuring CNN coverage on several screens around the School, including its largest auditorium and cafeteria.

• Harvard University Information Center, Holyoke Center, 1350 Massachusetts Ave. Viewing on one large screen. Limited seating available.

• The Institute for Quantitative Social Science, 1737 Cambridge St., CGIS Knafel, Room K354, will broadcast the event for affiliates and other interested faculty, students, and staff between 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Seating is limited, but all are welcome.

The schedule of inauguration events beginning 11:30 a.m.

• Musical selection: The U.S. Marine Band

• Musical selection: The San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus

• Call to order and welcoming remarks: Dianne Feinstein

• Invocation: Rick Warren of Saddleback Church

• Musical selection: Aretha Franklin

• Oath of Office administered to Vice President-elect Joseph Biden Jr. by Associate Justice John Paul Stevens of the Supreme Court

• Musical selection: John Williams, composer-arranger; Itzhak Perlman, violin; Yo-Yo Ma, cello; Gabriela Montero, piano; Anthony McGill, clarinet

• Oath of Office administered to President-elect Barack Obama by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. of the Supreme Court

• Inaugural address by Barack Obama

• Poem: Elizabeth Alexander

• Benediction: The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery

• The national anthem: The U.S. Navy Sea Chanters

• Inaugural luncheon: After the ceremony is completed, President Obama will attend the traditional inaugural luncheon at the U.S. Capitol following the departure ceremony for George W. Bush.

• Inaugural parade: After this luncheon, according to tradition, President Obama and Vice President Biden will lead the inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House.

Barack Obama, who was born in Hawaii on Aug. 4, 1961, is a 1991 graduate of Harvard Law School (HLS), and his wife, Michelle, is the first alumna (1988) from HLS to serve as first lady. The couple has two children, Sasha and Malia. Harvard’s other chief executives include John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Rutherford B. Hayes, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and George W. Bush.

During his time at Harvard, Obama made history and headlines when in 1990 he was elected the first black president of Harvard Law Review. After graduation, Obama returned to Chicago, where he had lived and worked as a community organizer before pursuing his law degree. There, he practiced civil rights law and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago before running for public office. For eight years he served in the Illinois State Senate and in 2004 was elected to the U.S. Senate — the same year he first captured national attention with his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

On Nov. 4, 2008, he was elected 44th president of the United States.