Another showed Obama coaching the Sidwell Friends School’s Vipers basketball team on which Sasha played. Souza noted something special for the Lehigh community—one of the team’s other members in the photo is a first-year at Lehigh. The student, Sara Jewel ’23, said following Souza’s lecture that she saw the photographer at her games every Sunday and had to go through security screenings each week with Obama in attendance and helping to coach. Maisy Biden, Vice President Joe Biden’s granddaughter, was also on the team, she said.
Following Souza’s talk, many of those in attendance made their way to a reception in the Fairchild-Martindale’s Study Gallery, where they were able to chat with Souza and view a solo exhibition of his photography, which runs through Feb. 28.
Earlier in the day, Souza met with student leaders from BALANCE, the Pride Center and Center for Equality for an hour-long question-and-answer in the University Center before another Q&A with just over 20 students from TRAC, SLAB and the Student Senate in Fairchild-Martindale. In the second Q&A, Souza responded to questions that touched upon his start in photography, the differences between documenting Reagan and Obama and major setbacks in his life.
Souza told students he went to Boston University for journalism because he wanted to be a sportswriter and first picked up a camera in a photography class at 19. While the mission was the same for both presidents, Souza said, the Obama Administration provided more access. Both presidents were “good people,” he said, but since Reagan was older, he wasn’t as active, which made things different. When Souza left the Reagan White House, he told students, he was freelancing and he wasn’t a great businessman or self-promoter, which you need to be to support yourself as a freelancer.
“There were times during my freelance years, I did that for nine years, where I was broke, and had no assignments on the horizon and just didn't know how to survive,” Souza said.
He also signed copies of his books for members of the Lehigh and local communities.
Kathy Frederick contributed to this article.