Wildcats Visit the White House

Johnny Cruz
June 27, 2007

The back-to-back NCAA champion Arizona softball team met with members of all three branches of government Wednesday, capped off with an afternoon at the White House and President George W. Bush.

Arizona’s 2006 and 2007 teams arrived at the nation’s capitol Tuesday and visited the Washington Monument, the Congressional District and the World War II Memorial.

Wednesday’s activities began at 8 a.m. as the UA travel party of nearly 40 people headed to Capitol Hill to begin sightseeing and to hear a brief orientation of the day’s events. Less than an hour later, Rep. Raúl M.Grijalva greeted the Wildcats to take photographs and to speak with the team.

Following that, the UA contingent marched to the Supreme Court, where the group received a surprise and exclusive visit from Chief Justice John G. Roberts, who spoke with the team for about 20 minutes and fielded questions from the group, before taking a photograph with the team.

Next, UA visited the Capitol for a 30-minute tour before heading off to lunch.

At approximately 2 p.m., the team bus pulled up to the White House for the day’s main event. After going through security for the third time that day, the team toured the White House and saw the Blue Room, the Green Room, the Red Room, the Dining Room and the East Room.

During the game, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords met with the team to offer congratulations.

Following the game, President Bush took photos and spoke with the team and other spectators.

The long day had one more event, as UA’s Washington, D.C.-based alumni association, the Capitol Cats, held a public reception for the team at a local ESPN Zone.