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Obama's UC Irvine commencement address draws proud parents from afar

UC IrvineBarack ObamaAngel Stadium of Anaheim
President Obama's UC Irvine commencement address draws proud parents from afar

A popular gathering place for proud parents inside Angel Stadium on Saturday was a souvenir shop, where glossy programs with color photographs of President Obama on the cover were flying off the shelves.

Among those waiting to buy several copies at $5 each was James Kou, 57.

Kou, who works in China as a computer designer, said he booked a flight to Orange County moments after his son, a student at UC Irvine, called a few months ago to say, “Dad, the president will be joining us at the ceremony.”

Obama is scheduled to give the noontime commencement address before more than 10,000 people attending 2014 graduation ceremonies at the Anaheim stadium.

Kou's son, Abraham, 21, is graduating with a bachelor of arts in psychology.

Clutching a program close to his chest, Abraham’s brother, Martin, 27, echoed the sentiments of many on hand Saturday: “This is a once-in-a-life-time event; you don’t get to see the president every day.”

Another happy customer was Donya Saber, 58, whose daughter, Sara, was graduating with a bachelor of science degree.

Saber ogled every item in the store — picture frames, key chains, sweatshirts — before directing the cashier to a gray T-shirt emblazoned with the words University of California Irvine in the school colors: blue and gold.

“I could not be prouder,” she said.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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UC IrvineBarack ObamaAngel Stadium of Anaheim
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