Barack Obama Visits Strathclyde Students' Union

The 44th President of America, Barack Obama dropped in for a quick visit!

Barack Obama arriving on the steps of Strath Union waving to a gathered crowd.

Strath Union welcomes the 44th President of America, Barack Obama!

Today Strath Union welcomed a very special guest to the building, Barack Obama. Arriving directly from making his contibutions at the 26th annual COP his visit created quite a buzz on campus.

The 44th President of America, Barack Obama, was visiting the Union to meet with Obama Foundation Fellows - a group of civic innovators and leaders who have been selected by the Foundation to meet with the President and discuss their ideas to address the world’s most pressing problems as part of their involvement with COP26 in Glasgow. 

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’.

He was gifted a life membership from Strath Union during the visit by Benn Rapson, President of Strathclyde Students’ Union. Benn had this to say about his experience meeting President Obama: 

"Yeah, it was pretty surreal. I was standing there with the principal and 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. The principal introduced himself and then the principal introduced me. 

Barack Obama stole my joke. He said: 'Well, Benn from one president to another, it's lovely to meet you.' We had a brief chat about what I'm studying and what I do at the Union and then he asked when I was going to graduate. Before I knew it he was up the lift to level eight for a meeting in what would normally be my office, so very wild experience.

I hope he comes back and gets a cheap pint at the Terrace. But, it's one of these things. It would be good for the University to build a relationship with Obama. And, who knows? A Zoom Q&A would be would be a great thing."

Photo Credit: Henry Ching, Edinburgh Napier Student and After The Pandemic

With the life membership, the former President will enjoy full access to the new Students' Union, located at 51 Richmond Street in Glasgow. Facilities include the Terrace Bar with a premium food offering and drinks (at student prices!) together with pool tables and darts lanes. 

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