Over 2,000 people who requested tickets to Saturday’s address by former President Bill Clinton LAW ’73 were turned down this week, even after the speech was moved to Cross Campus to accomodate more spectators. About 29,000 tickets have been issued for Friday night’s tercentennial party at the Yale Bowl, but 1,500 tickets are still available.
Student tickets for the Bowl festivities, which will start at 4:30 p.m. and include exhibits, concerts, celebrity performances, fireworks and a laser-light show, are still available at residential college masters’ offices. Those students with reserved tickets for Clinton’s speech can pick them up on the second floor of the Woolsey Rotunda.
Clinton is the third U.S. president to visit Yale during its Tercentennial. Former President George H.W. Bush ’48 spoke in April at the second major celebratory weekend dedicated to the Tercentennial and President George W. Bush ’68 spoke and received an honorary degree at last spring’s Commencement.
The University expects almost the entire undergraduate population to come out to the Bowl for Friday’s celebration, said Jerry Gallagher, ticketing and customer service manager for the Tercentennial. For security reasons, however, only students with tickets can attend, and the University will not allow students to carry bags with them.
Students attending the Bowl will receive a free dinner and can purchase other refreshments once inside.
“Get to the Bowl early to enjoy the Yale 300 Festival with over 60 attractions and performances,” University Secretary Linda Lorimer wrote in an e-mail to the student body yesterday.
Although those students who have not already received an e-mail from the University confirming their ticket reservation can no longer obtain tickets to see Clinton speak on Cross Campus Saturday at 3 p.m., the event will be telecast on all Yale television stations and on Comcast Cable Channel 8.
Lorimer said the University issued about 7,800 tickets for Clinton’s speech. The speech was originally planned to be held in Woolsey Hall, which seats only about 2,500 people, but high demand for tickets forced a venue change.
Gallagher said Yale will seat approximately 7,000 for the speech and will provide standing room for the other 800 people.
In preparation for Clinton’s speech, Cross Campus will close at 12 p.m., and students from Berkeley and Calhoun colleges will have to enter and exit their colleges through the Elm Street gates. Lorimer said students in Berkeley may have the “best seats in the house” to view the speech from their rooms.
She added that while she is pleased that the Yale community is so excited about this weekend’s events, she is even happier that the weather will likely cooperate with Yale’s grandiose plans.
“I am even more thrilled by the weather prediction, but I don’t want to say anything yet,” Lorimer said.
The tercentennial weekend will begin Friday with the Academic Convocation, which will feature academic leaders from around the world. Participating students will line up in their residential college courtyards at 12:15 p.m. for the ceremony. The Bowl festivities will immediately follow the Convocation.
On Saturday morning, the University will present speakers including former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo GRD ’81 and distinguished Yale professors. Clinton will be the final speaker of the day, and the weekend will conclude Sunday with a Yale football game against Dartmouth and a free Counting Crows concert on Old Campus.
No special tickets are required for Friday’s and Saturday’s lectures, called “Democratic Vistas” and “Global Perspectives,” except for Clinton’s portion of the program.