On this historic morning, you will join people from all over the country and world on the National Mall to witness the commencement of a new presidential term.
Prior to the Inauguration, you will enjoy special early access to a Smithsonian museum before it opens to the public. At the museum, you will stay warm and take in all the exhibits prior to joining the crowd on the National Mall to watch as the President of the United States takes the Oath of Office and delivers the Inaugural Address.
The Inaugural Address is the opportunity for the President to set the tone for their term. It is also where many of the most famous presidential quotes come from, including John F. Kennedy’s “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”
After being inspired by the Inaugural Address, you and your fellow scholars will set off on a cruise along Washington, D.C.’s historic waterfront. During this evening of dancing, dining, and celebrating, you will also see several landmarks and monuments, including the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and Washington Monument.
In addition to the Capital Cruise, you will also enjoy nightly social events, including an Opening Night Reception, where you will reconnect with old acquaintances from previous programs and enjoy activities designed to help you forge new friendships. Other evening activities may include a mix of music, dancing, photo booths, games, and more.
In addition to seeing the Jefferson Memorial and Washington Monument by the moonlight, you will also experience the history and culture of the nation’s capital during visits to a variety of museums and monuments throughout the week.
Site visits include:
- Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture: At one of newest museums in the nation’s capital, you will learn about the vast and unique African American experience, how this cultural history continues to impact millions of U.S. citizens, and how our great nation has been shaped by this diverse group of people.
- George Washington’s Mount Vernon: Explore George and Martha Washington’s home as it was in 1799, the year the first president passed away. Museum staff will lead this interactive site visit and bring Washington, his family, and the grounds to life through the unique pieces of history displayed throughout the property. By witnessing what life was like in the 18th century, you will also gain a better understanding of the events that led to the creation of our nation.
- Lincoln Memorial: Celebrated for his Gettysburg Address and unwavering commitment to maintaining the country as one Union, Abraham Lincoln served as the 16th U.S. president and is honored at this picturesque location along the National Mall.
- Vietnam Veterans Memorial: Designed by American architect Maya Lin, this unique and humbling structure, also known as The Wall, lists the names of over 50,000 men and women who were killed or deemed missing in action during the Vietnam War.
- Korean War Veterans Memorial: Originally designed by members of the architecture school at Pennsylvania State University and later modified by Cooper-Lecky Architects, this extraordinary memorial depicts true-to-life combat and terrain conditions in the American fight alongside South Korea.
During the program, scholars will also hear from two professionals who have followed their passions and made an impact on the world.
Actor, Producer, and Former White House Aide
Kal Penn has seamlessly transitioned from Hollywood to academia to the White House and back again, pursuing complex roles on- and off-screen that often differ drastically from his own background.
Known for his starring roles in House, How I Met Your Mother, and, of course, the Harold and Kumar franchise, Penn recently produced the NBC/Universal comedy Sunnyside and wrapped a third season of the acclaimed drama Designated Survivor, in which he stars opposite Kiefer Sutherland.
From 2009 to 2011, Penn took a sabbatical from acting and served as an Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, where he focused primarily on outreach to young Americans, including related issues such as the Affordable Care Act, the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, college affordability, and veterans benefits for service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. He was a national co-chair for President Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012 and served on the President’s Committee for the Arts and Humanities, focusing on arts education and cultural diplomacy.
Originally from New Jersey, Penn received his undergraduate degree in Sociology, Theater, Film, and Television at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a graduate certificate in International Security from Stanford University. He has also taught courses at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
American Soccer Player, Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist, Two-Time FIFA Women's World Cup Champion, and Two-Time FIFA Player of the Year
Carli Lloyd is a professional soccer player for the United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) and the National Women’s Soccer League’s Sky Blue FC in New Jersey. A two-time Olympic Gold Medalist (2008 and 2012), she holds the unique distinction of scoring the game-winning goals in the finals at both the 2008 Games in Beijing and the 2012 Games in London. Carli also represented the U.S. at the past four Women’s World Cup tournaments (2007, 2011, 2015, and 2019) and is a two-time World Cup Champion (2015 and 2019).
Carli received the most prestigious and highest award in soccer when she was named FIFA World Player of the Year twice (in 2015 and 2016), with only four other Americans receiving the award. She is also the only American to score multiple goals in three separate Olympic Games (2008, 2012, 2016), the first soccer player ever to score three goals in a FIFA Women's World Cup final, and the second player ever to score a hat-trick in a FIFA World Cup Final. For her 2015 Women’s World Cup performance, Carli received the Golden Ball Trophy, awarded to the best player of the tournament, and the Silver Boot, for her six tournament goals and one assist.
Off the field, Carli is a role model who empowers fans to never give up on achieving their goals. She almost gave up on her own soccer dream, but with the help and motivation from her coach/mentor James Galanis, she continued her journey and has never looked back! Carli married her high school sweetheart, Brian, in 2016 and published a best-selling memoir in the fall of that year, titled “When Nobody Was Watching.” A New Jersey native, she still lives there and serves as mentor and mental toughness coach for her former youth club, the Medford Strikers.