By Sara Tirrito
“I think people were really nostalgic and yet anticipating finals, so it was a good time to relax together,” Starr said.
As students mingled and enjoyed their ice cream, many chatted with Starr, stopping to introduce themselves and snap a quick photo.
Tyler senior Kathryn Wiley said she appreciated the chance to meet the president before her graduation.
“I think it’s great that Judge Starr is so involved on campus,” Wiley said. “I see him everywhere from baseball games to pep rallies that the school might put on, so it’s great that he’s here at the last Dr Pepper Hour. I’ve never met him before, this is my first time to meet him, so it was an honor to get to meet him before walking the stage.”
Beaumont senior Lonnie Reed, who had met the president previously, said Starr’s ability to balance prominence with accessibility is impressive.
“He’s very accessible and I really appreciated that about him,” Reed said. “Very down to earth, not too high but still keeps his prestige, and I really admire that.”
Other students, like Burbank, Calif., freshman Lauren Bridge, were excited to have a chance not only to share their opinions on the university, but also to open the lines of communication with the president.
“It’s also a good way to set up the connection for when he has more time,” Bridge said. “Like right now, he’s just like ‘Shoot me an email.’ And it’s like, ‘All right, I’m going to do that,’ and then hopefully I’ll get to talk to him even more about what I think.”
The president was accompanied by his wife, Alice Starr, and two of his granddaughters.