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Inauguration emcee has local ties

Inauguration emcee has local ties
Inauguration emcee has local ties
Julia Hamblen, who served as emcee at Monday’s inauguration, introduces Gov. Eric Holcomb. Photo courtesy Gov.Holcomb’s Flickr account
Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor, Editor, [email protected]

At least one Harrison Countian was more interested in the emcee for Monday’s inauguration than he was of the dignitaries taking their oath of office.

That’s because Lanesville resident Matt Hamblen’s daughter, Julia Hamblen, was chosen to do the honors.

“I was excited going in,” Julia said of being asked to serve as emcee.

Several hours following the conclusion of the ceremony that took place inside the Indiana State Museum, Julia said, “I’m still smiling.”

Unlike past years, the event was closed to the public due to COVID-19.

Those who took the oath of office were Eric J. Holcomb, who is beginning his second term as Indiana’s governor; Suzanne Crouch, for her second term as lieutenant governor; and Todd Rokita, who was elected as the state’s attorney general.

Indiana Supreme Court Justice Loretta Rush administered the oath.

Julia, 19, who lives in Shelbyville with her mother and stepfather, Marijo and Andy Snow, said she learned two days into the new year that she was chosen to be the emcee.

“First Lady Janet Holcomb has a strong background in agriculture and is a 10-year 4-H member, and the governor is extremely supportive of FFA,” Julia said. “The administration wanted to steer toward a younger emcee.”

Julia currently serves as president of Indiana FFA, a position that North Harrison High School graduate Nathan Deatrick held in 2018-19. She belonged to the FFA chapter at Shelbyville Central High School where she graduated in 2020.

She said she is enjoying her role that allows her to talk about the FFA organization and was proud to wear the official female attire — the recognizable navy blue jacket and skirt — during her duties as emcee at the inauguration.

In her opening remarks Monday, Julia said she was representing the more than 12,500 FFA members “on this historic day.”

Julia attended a run-through for the ceremony on Friday, when she and her mother visited the Indiana State Museum to view the set-up for the inauguration. Her mother also accompanied her Monday.

When her term as state FFA president is over, Julia said she will attend Purdue University to major in agricultural education with a minor in fisheries and aquatic science. She aspires to be an agricultural teacher.

Julia said serving as emcee for the inauguration was an honor she’ll always remember.