We spoke with graduate student Helen Liu and her colleagues about the experience via Skype Monday afternoon.
"It was just so many emotions coming together," she explained.
A native of China studying in America for the past year, the experience was an unforgettable one for Liu.
"As an international student, to have this opportunity to be in the capital city of the United States and see this with my own eyes was great," Liu said.
She is one of 23 graduate and undergraduate students from ACU who headed to the nation's capital for the inauguration, scoring tickets from Congressman Randy Neugebauer's office.
"He was gracious enough to provide 28 tickets and when we got here, we realized how special that was, because many of the students were waiting to hear back from their representatives," said Suzanne Macaluso, Assistant Professor of Sociology at ACU.
"It was absolutely incredible," added J.C. Peeples, a freshman studying journalism at ACU. "Everyone around me was crying at certain points, because they were all people who had campaigned for Obama, even since the last election."
But as magical as the moment was for everyone -- one person may have ruined it all.
Exercising his First Amendment rights, one man spent hours in a tree above the ACU group, protesting during the entire event.
"He continued to protest and yell for about five hours straight," said Macaluso.
But the yelling did not dampen the mood too much.
Because while it may happen once every four years, for Helen Liu, it was a once-in-a-lifetime event.