Students meet former President Clinton
"An amazing experience."
Those were the reactions of two University of Louisville students who got to meet and chat with former President Bill Clinton this week.
"It felt like he was talking just to us," said John Weber, president of UofL's College Democrats organization.
Weber and Student Government Association President Sana Abhari joined Provost Shirley Willihnganz in welcoming Clinton to UofL on Nov. 1. College Democrats were hosts to a forum for Democratic party candidates on the Belknap Campus Oval lawn in which he participated.
Abhari and Weber said that after Clinton arrived and was hustled to the breezeway under Grawemeyer Hall, he chatted with them for about five minutes, ignoring the pleas of his staff to go talk to the Democrats' U.S. Senate candidate Jack Conway. Clinton, Weber said, did talk to Conway but returned to chat with the students.
Clinton "makes you feel like he's known you forever," Abhari said.
She said the former president talked about the importance of a college education and the benefit of federal programs that help students pay for college.
"I never thought I'd be living in the United States, much less meet a president," said Abhari, who spent her formative years in Iran. She said she knew who Clinton was before moving to this country in 1999 because he often was the target of comedy skits on Iranian TV.
Abhari gave the former president a UofL pen and a book about the university; Willihnganz gave him a book about the new KFC Yum! Center arena.
Clinton's stop in Louisville was one of several he made across the country on behalf of Democratic Party office seekers on the eve of the Nov. 2 elections.