It’s freshman move-in day at Harvard University, and people are keeping an eye out for one of the school’s newest students: Malia Obama. The oldest daughter of former President Barack and Michelle Obama, who graduated from high school in 2016 and then took a gap year, is set to start studying at the Ivy League school this fall.
Photos and video of what appear to be the former first couple with their 19-year-old daughter in the Harvard Square area have surfaced in recent days on social media. Based on the photos, it appears as though Malia may have arrived on campus on Monday. A Harvard spokeswoman told The Boston Globe that some students decide “to move in a day early, based on travel schedules, athletic schedules, or other needs.”
“Saw Obama in Harvard during peak solar eclipse,” Jason Corey wrote on Facebook. “I’m in a weird dream right now.”
Corey, who is a wedding photographer, told Boston.com that he was getting into a Lyft ride around 1:30 p.m. Monday on Brattle Street when two tan SUVs pulled up in front of him and oncoming traffic was stopped by what he believes were Secret Service agents.
The Obama family, minus their younger daughter, Sasha, got out of one of the vehicles and went into the Harvard Square restaurant Harvest, he said.
“Not many people noticed,” Corey said in an email. “It all happened very fast.”
He said he waited for about an hour, and that by the time the Obamas left the restaurant, a “bunch” of people who were outside viewing the solar eclipse spotted the former president. Obama was whisked away to another exit behind Harvest, Corey said.
Corey meandered his way through additional alleys behind the restaurant, and came upon the Obamas with Secret Service in a small service alley off of Mount Auburn Street. At that point, he said, Obama turned to him from about 20 feet away, waved, “then went on his way.”
Corey said he was then told by Secret Service to stop recording and leave.
“It was very surreal to see Obama on what was just a normal Monday,” he said.
He added that the fact that it was during “peak eclipse time” made it “even more surreal/memorable.”
Corey wasn’t the only one expressing shock over an apparent run-in with the Obamas.
“We walked right by Malia, my mouth just dropped and I froze,” Sandly Alteon-Senat said in a Monday post on Facebook.
— Robin Daggers. (@_amberalert) August 22, 2017
Harvard and a spokesperson for the Obamas did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Both Barack and Michelle Obama attended Harvard Law School in the 1980s, though they met later, in Chicago. The couple’s daughter is one of 2,056 students accepted into the Harvard Class of 2021. Classes start Aug. 30.