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New UVM Librarian: My Meet and Greet with the President

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

On Friday, March 30, Libraries’ Assistant Professor Amber Billey (who moved to Vermont from Brooklyn in December) had her picture taken with President Obama during his day-long stint in Burlington. We asked Amber to describe the experience of meeting him.

My wife, Lydia and I were shocked when we received the call notifying us that we had won the lottery to meet and have our pictures taken with him. On the day of his rally I made sure to wear my bow-tie by Beau Ties Ltd. of Vermont and my Library of Congress lapel pin. My wife wore her Americorp Alumni pin as well. We were given a special yellow wristband and ushered to a separate section in the front row with about 40 other people.

Right before President Obama was scheduled to speak, all 40 of us were taken backstage and lined up to meet the him. We were so nervous! When it was our turn to meet the President, he asked our names and shook our hands. As we were posing for the photo, I told the president that my wife and I are so proud to be married in the State of Vermont, but that we would love to be married throughout this great country. To which he replied, “We’re working hard on it.”

I felt that he was genuine and kind. His eyes are warm and caring. I joke now that I saw rainbows and unicorns and world peace when I looked into his brown eyes. His hands are also very soft. It was a once in a lifetime experience and I’m so happy that my wife and I could represent Vermont — our new home.