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MAC college students gets invitation to attend Presidential Inaugural Conference

PARK HILLS – A Mineral Area College student has accepted an invitation to attend a Presidential Inaugural Conference being held this January in Washington, D.C.

Julia Ancell, a third-year MAC business major, says she received an e-mail in May congratulating her on being invited to attend the conference taking place Jan. 19-23, the same week as the 2013 presidential inauguration.

“At first I thought the e-mail might be spam,” said Ancell. “I called my mom and asked her if she thought it was for real.”

After doing a little online research, Ancell said she discovered the invitation was the real thing.

Inauguration Day is the start of a new term for an elected U.S. president and takes place every four years on Jan. 20. Prior to the 20th Amendment, the presidential inauguration was held on March 4, the day on which the Constitution of the United States took effect in 1789. The last inauguration to take place in March was at the start of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first term as president in 1933.

Ancell said the event is strictly non-partisan and will take place no matter who wins the presidential election this November. A look at the week’s itinerary backs up her contention that the conference has no partisan agenda.

Keynote speakers at the event will include Jeb Bush and the Rev. Jesse Jackson. A guest panel discussion will feature political pundits James Carville and Mary Matalin. Despite being a married couple, Carville, a Democrat, and Matalin, a Republican, approach politics from completely opposite points of view.

There will also be several seminars offered, as well as music and political satire performed by a comedy group called The Capitol Steps.

On Inauguration Day, Ancell said conference attendees will receive early access to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History; commemorate the inauguration, oath of office and inaugural address of the U.S. president; and view the inaugural parade as the president and vice president’s motorcade travels from the U.S. Capitol to the White House. The day will end with Ancell attending a black tie and gown “Gala Inaugural Celebration.”

“Attending this program will enable me to further my interest in the field of business,” she says. “I maintain a 3.9 GPA, am involved in Phi Theta Kappa and have made the dean’s list every semester that I’ve been in school.”

In addition to being a college student, Ancell is employed as a legal assistant by Farmington attorney Tom Burcham who said he appreciates her “hard work” and supports her attendance at the conference.

“My participation in the conference will depend on whether or not I can raise $4,000 in sponsorships,” said Ancell. “The conference tuition is $3,400 and my travel to Washington, D.C. will cost around $600. I’m investing every dollar I can of my own money to make sure I don’t miss out on this unique experience.”

She added that she recently held a trivia/silent auction at which she raised $500. So far, she’s come up with $1,500 toward the $4,000 needed.

“I have worked really hard in school and would like to experience the Presidential Inaugural Conference,” said Ancell. “This would be a great chance to represent the students of this area.”

For more information about the conference, go to or call the Presidential Inauguration Congress at 866-266-1381. To make a contribution to Ancell’s trip, call 573-366-9392 or e-mail her at

Kevin R. Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 114 or at

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