Faculty, Staff, and Students Gather in Payton 101
More than 200 members of the Fuller community—students, faculty, and staff— gathered together in Payton Hall at Fuller’s Pasadena campus to watch a live broadcast of the presidential inaugural ceremony Tuesday morning, January 20.
As expressed by faculty, the historic inauguration of Barack Obama as 44th president of the U.S. was a cause for reflection and celebration for members of the Fuller community, regardless of personal partisan affiliations:
“I am delighted to realize that not only people of African descent, but also many other Americans—and people outside the United States—feel a sense of joy and pride in the election of the first African-American president of the United States,” says Alexis Abernethy, professor of psychology.
Ryan Bolger, professor of church and contemporary culture, sees Obama’s presidency as marking a new era. “To put this election in perspective, when historically non-Western people become leaders of Western nations, it represents a great reversal that symbolizes a shift to a post-colonial era,” he notes. “The world is not done with colonialism, but elections such as these undermine its very process.”
Bolger also hopes Obama will lead the U.S. in the practice of values consistent with the gospel. “I believe Obama will serve the needs of the poor. He will bring new people to the table and listen to the formerly excluded. He will spend time to speak to ‘enemies’ and move towards peaceful relations nationally and internationally. For these reasons and many more,” he says, “I’m terribly excited about Obama’s inauguration.”
John Goldingay, David Allan Hubbard Professor of Old Testament, shares that his church has made a commitment to pray for President Obama in every service. “We pray that God will anoint him for his work, preserve him from the temptations of power, and grant him the wisdom that is now a much greater need than it was on the day of his election.”