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University at Buffalo gets official word about upcoming Obama visit

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Buffalo: University at Buffalo gets official word about upcoming Obama visit
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The University at Buffalo will be the first stop on President Barack Obama's two-day bus tour across New York and Pennyslvania next week. YNN's Meg Rossman tells us how campus officials are planning for the visit and what it means to students.

AMHERST, N.Y. — "Officially, we were notified about an hour ago," said UB president Satish Tripathi.

Notified that President Barack Obama will be making a stop at the University at Buffalo next week.

"I was shocked actually, I was just doing some work in the back and they came and told me," said UB sophomore Gabriella Jaramillo.

"Twitter, Facebook, everything, a lot of people are talking about it now. This is a huge moment for UB," said graduate student Teresa Sprow.

And it's historic. Thursday will mark the first time a sitting President has visited UB in more than a century.

"You might remember that the first Chancellor of the campus was also the U.S. President at the same time. This campus has a great history," Tripathi said.

That would be President Millard Fillmore in 1853. Since then, former Presidents Clinton, Carter, Ford and Bush Senior have made planned visits.

But the when and where of Obama's trip are still up in the air.

"I wish I knew. We really don't have an idea yet, which venue they're looking at," said UB director of special events Bill Regan.

They have options. The main gym at Alumni Arena holds 6,500 while a secondary venue known as the triple gym holds 1,900. The Center for the Arts is also an option, with a capacity of 1,750.

There's no word on who will be invited to the president's speech on affordable education for the middle class. Classes don't start for two weeks, but it will coincide with move in day for underclassmen.

"We have identified where we may have some hiccups and have moved to put staff in place to accommodate," Regan said.

Not that it matters to freshman Marina Scerra if the president slows down her plans. She says the Commander-in-Chief's trip is a sign she chose the right school.

"I think it's an amazing opportunity. I'm very excited for my academic semester to start off this way."

Campus officials say they expect more details on the President's visit in the upcoming days.

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