Skip to main content
Login to CatLink
Future Students

Apply online or check the status of your Admissions application:

Admission Portal

We are excited to welcome you back to our beautiful campus in the Fall! Read more at

Catawba Students Find Pride, Hope on Inauguration Day

January 22, 2009

Category: Events, Politics, Students

By Kathy Chaffin, ;

When Alex Hartsell was a little boy, his parents told him he could be anything he wanted when he grew up. ;

HartsellAnd he believed them. ;

It didn't matter that he was African-American. What mattered, he said, was that he made up his mind what he wanted to do and put forth the work and effort to accomplish it. ;

Today, Hartsell, of Columbia, S.C., is a communications major at Catawba College. While Tuesday's inauguration of Barack Obama as the first African-American president of the United States was historic, Hartsell said he always believed it was possible. ;

"In this time, anything's possible," he said. "The only difference is his skin. He's human, he's smart and he's qualified for the job." ;

It was more difficult for his grandfather to believe that an African-American could be elected. ;

Hartsell recalled seeing tears well up in 78-year-old George W. Hartsell's eyes when they were watching Obama speak during television coverage of last year's presidential election. "It was just a warm feeling for me to see him live to see that," he said. ;

Life had not always been kind to his grandfather. Growing up in the deep South, George W. Hartsell heard stories about his own grandfather being shot in the head by a white man. ;

George Hartsell's parents died when he was young, his grandson said, and he worked hard to support his younger brothers and sisters. ;

There was great prejudice in America then. The races were segregated, and African-Americans weren't given the same rights and privileges as white people.  Read More...





« Return to Previous