Grand Islander Silvana D'Ettorre had the honor of introducing President Barack Obama before his speech Thursday at the University at Buffalo.
D'Ettorre, 19, is a sophomore at UB studying exercise science with the intention of going to dental school.
In introducing the president, D'Ettorre said, "The president has always focused on helping students to succeed. I greatly admire his passion for ensuring that everyone - regardless of family income, gender or race - has access to an exceptional and affordable education."
After taking the stage, Obama gave D'Ettorre a big hug before saying, "I want to begin by making sure we all thank Silvana for the wonderful introduction. Give her a big round of applause."
He acknowledged D'Ettorre's parents sitting in the audience as well.
"I know they're pretty proud," Obama said.
The president's stop at UB's Alumni Arena was part of a two-day tour in upstate New York and Pennsylvania to speak about college costs and the economy.
D'Ettorre spoke for about 3 minutes.
"We are tremendously honored to host President Barack Obama so he can share with us such an important speech on higher education in the United States. I know we all firmly believe that our country has the best colleges and universities in the world," D'Ettorre said in her introduction.
"I am fortunate to come from a family who understands the tremendous value of a college degree. Ever since I was in middle school, I was set on attending the University at Buffalo. At that young age, I witnessed two family members graduate from this university who are successful dentists in the Buffalo community. I had also gained an immense amount of insight as to what UB had to offer while touring colleges with my older brother, who is currently a senior at UB."
D'Ettorre called UB a prime example of a low-cost, high-quality option for college students."