‘Wooed’ Michelle Obama to address U.C., MercedMarch 29th, 2009 - 5:43 pm ICT by ANI
San Francisco, Mar. 29 (ANI): Michelle Obama has elected to speak at the commencement function of University of California, Merced, which is the smallest and newest campus of the state education system that boasts of biggies like University of California, Los Angeles.Obama will deliver the May 16 address to the 400 graduates of the university. Her decision comes after weeks of wooing through online campaigning.Students said the efforts of wooing included enlisting the help of Professor Charles J. Ogletree of Harvard, a Merced native who is a friend of the Obamas, as well as sending hundreds of handwritten letters and Valentine Day cards.
“We laid on the charm,” said Yaasha Sabbaghian, a biology student.
Michelle Obama’s spokeswoman said the First Lady was “very touched” by the university campaign, particularly a “Dear Michelle” Facebook campaign.
Following Obama’s decision, the site on Friday carried an ecstatic message “!!! We did it !!!”
University officials are expecting Obama’s speech benefit the institution, whose hundred-acre campus was built on a former cattle ranch, and earlier had faced problems in attracting students.
This year, however, enrollment grew to about 2,700 students.
Sabbaghian hoped that Michelle Obama would give an inspirational message to students in Merced, a Central Valley city that has suffered from mass foreclosures and high unemployment. He said it would be okay if the First Lady wishes to bring the President along.
“A lot of people said, ‘Why don’t you try to get the president?’ and our first answer was we want him to fix the economy. But we’d love him to come and introduce her,” Sabbaghian said. ” (ANI)
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