Barack Obama visits Strath Union

Image Credit: Bolanle Bello (Strath Union)
Obama arriving at Strath Union. Video by: Daniella Theis

By Daniella Theis

The 44th President of the United States Barack Obama visited Strath Union today.

Crowds gathered outside Strathclyde’s Students Union from about 3pm to catch a glimpse at the President who gave a speech at the COP26 conference earlier that day.

The ex-President visited Strath Union to meet with Obama Foundation Fellows – a group of civic innovators and leaders to discuss their ideas to address the world’s most pressing problems as part of their involvement with COP26 in Glasgow.

Strath Union President Benn Rapson got to meet Obama briefly before the official event.

Describing the experience in an interview with Strath Union, he said: “It was pretty surreal. I was standing there with the principal. Suddenly me and the principal were the only people besides security within the entrance of the Learning and Teaching Building and in comes the 44th President of the United States.

“Barack Obama stole my joke. He said: ‘Well, Benn from one president to another, it’s lovely to meet you.”

Other members of Strath Union and students also took to social media to share snaps of the ex-President’s arrival, including Strath Union CEO Manish Joshi.

As part of his reception at Strath Union, Obama, has been gifted a life membership from Strath Union. With the life membership, the former President will enjoy full access to the new Students Union, located at 51 Richmond Street in Glasgow. 

President Obama now joins a host of distinguished visitors to receive the coveted accolade, including Sir Billy Connolly. 

“President Obama’s roots as an organiser and activist are at the heart of what Strath Union is about and many of us were inspired by his run for the White House and subsequent re-election,” Rapson explained.

He added: “The work of the Obama foundation focuses on empowering the voices of young people and that’s a message we thoroughly endorse. I am delighted that we can bestow an Honorary Life Membership to President Obama today in recognition of his work to empower and embolden the voices of young people across the world.”

The Obama Foundation are partnering with the newly formed Columbia Climate School, part of Columbia University, and powered by the Climate Action Lab, a collective of local and international groups to promote radical collaboration to take action on climate in this ‘Decisive Decade.’