Dr. Linda Thompson, director of the McNair Scholars Program at Harding University, will be taking nine students to Washington, D.C., for the 2013 presidential inauguration Jan. 21. This will be the second time Thompson has taken students to the inauguration.
“It was history-making in 2009 with the first black president of the United States being sworn in,” Thompson said. “There was a tremendously celebratory mood around the Capitol, and it was awesome to be part of the crowd.”
In 2008, the director of the Arkansas Martin Luther King Commission contacted Harding’s Executive Vice President Jim Carr about the opportunity. The commission is again sponsoring and organizing this year’s trip as well as the McNair program and the Office of Student Services.
“It’s a great cultural and civic experience,” Thompson said. “It’s an adventure and opportunity to see history in the making.”
The nine students to attend the inauguration are participants in the McNair Scholars Program. The program provides students with academically enriching experiences and mentoring to encourage them to pursue graduate and doctoral work. All McNair scholars must be either first-generation and low-income college students or students underrepresented in graduate school.
Harding is the largest private university in Arkansas with 6,815 students and attracts more National Merit Scholars than any other private university in the state. Harding also maintains campuses in Australia, Chile, England, France, Greece, Italy and Zambia.