FAYETTE, Iowa (December 30, 2007) - Senator Barack Obama (D) made a scheduled stop in Oelwein on Friday, Dec. 14, just a mere 17 miles from Upper Iowa University (UIU) in Fayette. A number of UIU students and staff joined the more than 100 other Obama supporters at Oelwein Middle School. The group was transported to Oelwein in vans sponsored by Upper Iowa's Alpha Nu Omega fraternity.
The fraternity had also signed up to do campaign service for Obama that day so decided to seize the moment and ask the Illinois Senator to be an honorary member of Alpha Nu Omega. Prior to the start of Obama's speech, all volunteers are given an opportunity to take photos with him. This is when the seven fraternity members presented the senator with a certificate and invited him to be an honorary member, which Obama gladly accepted with a handshake. The group also gave him an Alpha Nu Omega T-shirt.
"We wanted to make Obama an honorary member because we believe strongly in his efforts to make our country better," said UIU senior Fred Robby. "We hope that one day he will become president and be too busy ‘rebuilding America's standing in the world' to keep in touch with us."
This is not a new concept for this organization because, back in 1994, it made both the Rev. Jesse Jackson and former congressman Dave Nagle honorary members. The two were in Fayette County at the time promoting voter registration.
Also volunteering and in attendance for the presentation was Oelwein resident Reggie Hall. Hall is a UIU grad, employed at the Oelwein branch of Full Circle, and one of the original founding fathers of the Alpha Nu Omega fraternity on campus. The fraternity currently has 15 members, with Dr. Doug McReynolds serving as their advisor. McReynolds is the former chair of the Fayette County Democratic party. The fraternity plans to send a delegate to caucus for Obama this coming January.
For more information about the Iowa caucus, go to www.iowacaucus.org. For information about Upper Iowa University, go to www.uiu.edu.