After numerous meetings with the Secret Service last week (yes, the real, secret- Secret Service) the big moment came. On Saturday, November 26, U.S. President Barack Obama visited Towson University.
Three helicopters marked with the presidential seal flew over the southwestern portion of campus in the late morning hours. At a point they separated—one flying off into the clouds, another landing near the tennis courts, and the third coming to a stop close to the Towson Center. From the third helicopter emerged not only the President, but First Lady Michelle Obama, daughters Sasha and Malia and Michelle’s mother Marian. Their visit would attract more than 3,000 attendees to the TU basketball game. The Tigers’ opponent for the day, the Oregon State Beavers, was being coached by Mrs. Obama’s brother Craig Robinson.
The Presidential visit didn’t guarantee a win for our team, but it provided a whole series of other, more priceless benefits, including handshakes, and lots of them. There was one for upcoming President Maravene Loeschke; two for alumnus and former regent David Nevins; and a very fervent one for actor/director Bill Murray, despite the fact that he was there supporting his son, who is an assistant coach for the Tigers.
Much work was done by A&F staff members to facilitate last week’s Presidential visit. Many TUPD Officers canceled their previously-scheduled Thanksgiving leave in order to ally themselves with the Secret Service, Maryland State Police, and Baltimore County Police and make sure that our president was well-protected during his visit. There were metal detectors, covered windows and strict controls around crowd arrival and departure.
Team Towson came together for the visit just as it did for the hurricane several months ago. Employees not only from the TUPD, but also Facilities, Event & Conference Services, and Parking Services dedicated many hours to coordinating the details and visit. They did their jobs supremely well, and the great success of the visit is a testament to their hard work.