Hillary Clinton to spoke at UConn Wednesday night. (WFSB photo)
These buttons were handed out before Clinton's speaking engagement. (WFSB photo)
STORRS, CT (WFSB) -
A former secretary of state, senator and first lady sought to send a message of community involvement at the University of Connecticut Wednesday night.
Hillary Clinton visited to Storrs to speak with a group of students, some of whom said they'd ask if she'd run for president.
She delivered keynote remarks at the Edmund Fusco's Contemporary Issues Forum. It was an event designed to bring leaders and policy makers to the school.
It marked Clinton's first visit to UConn and she received a warm welcome.
"Dick Blumenthal, we went to law school together," she said of Connecticut's senior senator. Both went to Yale University.
Sen. Blumenthal attended the speech along with Chris Dodd, who served with Clinton in the senate.
Clinton spent much of her time encouraging students to get involved.
"Everyone deserves equal participation," she said. "We need your energy and talents. We need your participation."
Clinton ran for president in 2008, but conceded to President Barack Obama. She has been mentioning a possible candidacy in 2016 and even handed out buttons Wednesday night that read "I'm ready for Hillary."
However, Clinton was not asked about a possible run and did not volunteer to speak about it.
"I am waiting for a real announcement," said Josh Skydel, a UConn sophomore. "I would like to see her run."
"I think if she keeps that attitude of everyone getting involved, having a say, then I think she is on the right track," said Elizabeth Tomasco, a UConn junior.
UConn President Susan Herbst said she asked Clinton a number of questions after her speech.
"We are of course delighted to welcome secretary Clinton to UConn and interest as you can imagine is very high on the campus," Herbst said.
Clinton, who was most recently the U.S. Secretary of State, was paid for the visit. She was invited by the UConn Foundation, which is a private entity, and how much she is being paid is not being disclosed.
More than 2,000 tickets were given out for the Clinton's speaking engagement with a majority of them to students. As soon as the lottery started and tickets were being given out, they were gone in a matter of minutes.
While the 2016 election was still more than two years away, some students said they feel the time is right for this country to make history again.
"It was a big thing. She was running up against (Barack) Obama and her coming really close," said UConn freshman Diandra Coke. "Hopefully, (she will) becoming the first female president. Personally, I think she should run again."
Mark Pearsall, who is a grad student at UConn and teaches Latin, said his students were all talking about Clinton's visit and whether she will take a shot again at being president.
"They were sure the first question she was going to be asked is are you planning on running and then of course the conversation begins with well do you want her to win," Pearsall said. "There were some that were strong saying they think she could win and others said they were not entirely sure."
Clinton recently found out she is going to be a grandmother and Herbst gave her a gift.
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