Obama to speak at Lisner Friday

President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder will speak Friday in Lisner Auditorium at Holder’s Installation Ceremony, representatives from the University and Department of Justice said Wednesday afternoon.

The event is a ceremonial swearing-in for all attorneys general and will include remarks by both officials, said Hannah August, a spokeswoman for the Department of Justice.

Event planners chose Lisner because of its ability to hold a large number of Justice Department officials, University spokeswoman Tracy Schario said. Because Obama had visited Lisner as a presidential candidate in 2007, she said the venue “immediately made the short list.”

“We’re very pleased to be hosting them both,” Schario said.

She said that the event’s organizers secured the location last week.

Until his recent appointment, Holder served as a member of GW’s Homeland Security Policy Institute steering committee and was a member of the GW Board of Trustees in 1996 and 1997, but Schario said she did not know if Holder’s ties to GW were factors in the decision to choose Lisner.

“He definitely has ties to the University and we’re glad the Department of Justice considered us as a venue and selected us as a venue,” she said.

Justice Department employees and invited guests of Holder will be attending the event – slated to begin at 10 a.m. – as will University President Steven Knapp and members of the GW Board of Trustees. A small number of tickets were secured for GW students and will be distributed on an invitation-only basis, Schario said. The University also plans to broadcast the event live on GWTV.

Though Holder was officially sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden in February, Schario said a judge will conduct a swearing-in ceremony at Friday’s event.

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