Parker, a Sam Houston State University student, will be attending the inauguration with a group of political science students from the university in Huntsville, according to information provided by Mike Yawn, a political science professor there.
The students planned to take advantage of the trip by traveling to 12 states and visiting several significant sites along the way.
Most of the locations related to the presidential theme including the Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, Ill.; Mount Vernon and Monticello; and The Hermitage, Andrew Jackson’s home.
They also planned to visit homes of lesser-known presidents such as Benjamin Harrison and William Howard Taft, along with sites related to Zachary Taylor, Andrew Johnson and James Monroe, according to the provided information.
The schoolhouse of Texas’s one-time president, Sam Houston, also was a planned stop on the trip.
Although these are political science students, they planned to explore other fields too.
In St. Louis, they visited the Gateway Arch, learning about westward expansion.
Visiting three Frank Lloyd Wright homes also was on the schedule.
But the inauguration remained the centerpiece.
“This is just something I think is important for Americans to participate in, regardless of partisanship,” Parker said, according to the provided information. “It will be cold, we’ll be working on little sleep, and we’ll be jockeying for the best viewing spots with approximately 750,000 strangers, but it will still be the highlight of the trip.”
Parker is a 2012 graduate of Whitehouse High School, where he was a national qualifier on the debate team and served as drum major in the high school band.
At Sam Houston State, he has been involved in the Political Science Junior Fellows and is a member of the University’s first Pre-Law Cohort.
“I’ve been very fortunate to be in places where I could get a great education,” Parker said. “And I think this trip will just add to that — as both a student and a citizen.”
Readers can follow Parker’s journeys on his blog at www.politicalsciencejuniorfellows.wordpress.com.