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Lynn senior and Obama stand-in to attend inauguration

"I’ve always loved politics, but when Lynn decided to host the debate, my interest really peaked,” said Gooden.
Lynn senior and Obama stand-in to attend inauguration

Published Jan. 10, 2013

Eric Gooden, a 24-year-old senior majoring in criminal justice in Lynn University’s College of Liberal Education, was the lucky student chosen to be President Barack Obama’s stand-in for the third and final debate held at Lynn on Oct. 22, 2012. 

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Nearly three months after the Lynn debate, Gooden will travel to Washington, D.C. along with professor Sindee Kerker and 14 of his classmates to witness Obama’s inauguration on Monday, Jan. 21 – which also happens to fall on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

“I’ve always loved politics,” said Gooden who has an uncanny resemblance to the President, “but when Lynn decided to host the debate my interest really peaked. Everyone on campus was talking about politics – especially in my debate-related classes, and when debate weekend came, I had several media interviews.” 

The D.C. trip will conclude Gooden’s 400 level January Term (J-Term) course, “Witness to History: The 2013 Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C.”

“The final debate at Lynn played a key role in Obama’s re-inauguration,” said Gooden. “I watched his first inauguration on TV and, at that moment, Obama became an inspiration to me.”

More on Gooden 

Eric Gooden, originally from Detroit, Mich., is a 24-year-old senior majoring in criminal justice in Lynn University’s College of Liberal Education. On campus, Gooden serves as an officer in Lynn’s student government, Knights of the Roundtable, is vice president of the College Democrats, and is a member of the Law and Justice Club.

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Prior to the Lynn debate, where he was a stand-in for President Barack Obama, Gooden volunteered for the President’s grassroots campaign, Organizing for America. His duties included canvassing, phone banking and registering students to vote, among other tasks. 

Watch Gooden, and the other student stand-ins, relive their experiences in this Google Hangout.