Excited students have collected official invitations to President Barack Obama’s speech to be delivered this Saturday at the University of Queensland’s St Lucia Campus.
This exclusive, invitation-only event, is being attended by a select range of students from universities across Brisbane, as well as a representatives from other youth leadership groups in the area.
One of those lucky enough to be on the official invite list is Tim Sullivan, a second year engineering student, who attends St Leo’s college on UQ’s campus.
He says this is an exciting opportunity for UQ and is a great way to showcase the university globally.
“The fact he’s [Obama’s] speaking here really shows UQ’s standing as a reputable university,” Tim said.
By the time many students passionate about politics, international relations and global economics found out about this event the guest list had already been finalised.
“I have been a fan of Obama for years, but by the time I discovered he would be speaking at UQ, the invite lists had already been finalised.” said UQ International relations student Abby Jones-Walker.
“I wish I had been given the opportunity to apply.”
When asked about the selection process for choosing students, head of St Leo’s college Steve Foley said UQ colleges had chosen candidates differently, but at St Leo’s they decided on a fairness based system.
“A circular email was sent to out to 209 students calling for expressions of interest to attend this event,” Mr Foley said.
“We received a huge response with 106 people wanting to see Obama here at UQ.”
“We thought it would be unfair to preference certain students over others so decided to choose names randomly out of a hat,” he said.
While official White House representatives are remaining tight-lipped about the exact numbers, it is speculated that 2,500 will attend Saturday’s speech.
For those students fortunate enough to hold a coveted ticket to Obama’s speech, they are keen to hear from what many of them regard as an outstanding and passionate public speaker and inspiring leader.
It’s definitely an experience they won’t forget any time soon.