The Curry Stu­dent Center and Cabral Center of the African-​​American Insti­tute brimmed with hopeful crowds of young stu­dents drawn to the force of his­tory and mag­netism of Barack Obama’s his­toric inau­gu­ra­tion today.

Inter­na­tional engi­neering stu­dents from Egypt spoke of the hope they felt in Obama’s states­man­ship, and ability to soothe rela­tions with the Mideast. “I believe he will have a very pos­i­tive effect on inter­na­tional rela­tions, espe­cially in the Middle East,” said Amro Rasoul, a grad­uate engi­neering stu­dent from Egypt. His friend and fellow engi­neering stu­dent Kariem Elebiary, a second-​​year master’s stu­dent from Egypt, agreed.

I think Barack Obama rep­re­sents the best in pres­i­den­tial goals, not only for the U.S., but for the Middle East as well,” he said.

The two were among hun­dreds who jammed the Curry Stu­dent Center to watch the cer­e­mony on flat-​​screen tele­vi­sions and laptop com­puters. Stu­dents stood in groups, sat on over­stuffed fur­ni­ture, or hunched over per­sonal com­puters to soak in the moment.

This is an amazing piece of his­tory that’s hap­pening before us,” said com­puter sci­ence stu­dent Randy Dailey, of Hol­brook, Mass. “Right now, this is an event unto itself, but hope­fully, going for­ward, we’ll have a polit­ical leader who can bring fresh, inno­v­a­tive ideas” to bear on the issues affecting the country and globe.

For biology majors Odav Jallah, a senior from Mary­land, and Ashley Thornton, a junior from Boston, Obama’s rise to glory inspires them in their own aspi­ra­tions for success.

It’s just really, really amazing, as a col­lege stu­dent, to look at Barack and Michelle and how they ascended to such a level of suc­cess. It just makes you want to go fur­ther in your own life,” Jallah said, while “God Bless America” was sung moments before the swearing in.

Thornton was equally moved. “I think this is such a big mile­stone, looking back on America’s his­tory with seg­re­ga­tion, to this day. It makes me so happy to see this day.”

Across campus at the O’Bryant African-​​American Insti­tute, an audi­ence stood in the doorway, and sat in rapt atten­tion, as Obama gave his accep­tance speech. When Obama spoke of equality, they burst into applause, and when he spoke of America being a friend to all nations, of being ready to lead once more, the applause burst forth again.

Freshman lin­guis­tics stu­dent Shery­lynn Sealy of Shrews­bury, Mass., described her­self as being left “speech­less” by it all.

The most moving part of it for me was when he spoke of being remem­bered for what you build up, not what you destroy,” she said.

Sarah Brown, a mid­dler elec­trical and com­puter engi­neering stu­dent from Nashua, N.H., said Obama’s inau­gu­ra­tion moved her on sev­eral levels. “My father is black and my mother is white and for us, Martin Luther King Day has always been very impor­tant. To have an inau­gu­ra­tion like this the day after is just an amazing expe­ri­ence,” she said.

Chris Brown, a former lib­eral arts stu­dent and self-​​taught artist, sat sketching Obama as he lis­tened to his speech. “I’m 41-​​years-​​old, and I never thought I’d see a day like this,” he said.