"I was invited here today to tell you what life was like working for Josh Lyman. What it was like to work in the White House; to work for President Bartlet. I want to explain to you that amazing feeling that you get when you tell people 'I worked in the White House.' Josh always claimed that he walked into the White House and didn't flinch. Actually he still claims that to this day; but I know better. I was buy his side that first day; with him during those first few steps through the North Lobby and standing so close to him when we all first entered the Oval Office. I know that Josh flinched but it wasn't in a bad way. It was like having shivers running down your spine. The closer we got to his dream; the closer he pulled me. Josh was so scared that first day although he'll never admit it to anyone; so scared that the reality of his dream would be less than perfect."
Donna paused looking out over the sea of students gathered in the auditorium before her and smiled. Georgetown University; her alma mater, the place she gained her own poli-sci degree.
"Working for Josh was like working for a whirlwind. Almost everything was done at speed. He walks so fast because he is scared that others will get hurt. He walks so fast because the faster he goes the more he can change. Although he doesn't like to admit it he was always an idealist and still is today. Working for Josh was a once in a lifetime experience as was working in the White House. I learnt so much during those nine years with the people that are now my family; one year on the campaign trail and eight years in the White House.
"The White House is an amazing building; it is beautiful, powerful and intimidating all at the same time. I can't give you the history of the White House; for that you want President Bartlet. You may think that it is strange that I refer to Jed Bartlet as President Bartlet but it was hard to change when he left office.
"Working for President Bartlet was amazing and that's about the only way I can describe it. If you want someone to describe it eloquently get Toby Ziegler, C.J. Cregg-Zeigler, Sam Seaborn or Will Bailey, maybe even Josh himself. Even better get Leo McGarry because all of those people can describe the Bartlet Dream as I call it, they can describe what it feels like to work for and be one of the most powerful people in our country.
"As you undoubtedly know the Presidency of Jed Bartlet was fraught with problems: the revelations of Leo McGarry's addictions; the shooting at Rosslyn, the kidnaping of Zoey Bartlet just to name a few. But we had some successes: the election of Justice Medosa to the Supreme Court, a new Vice President; the reelection itself and even just the simple fact that we lasted the eight years.
"I know that many of the these people will just be names to you, but they're my family and what we left behind is President Bartlet's legacy. So work hard in school, enjoy your self while you're young, and if you can come by some day and visit our legacy. Look around and see what we changed; open your eyes and see what we did; see what we achieved. Take a walk around the White House, go on a tour; see the painting of Dolly Madison that C.J. once described as scary. Come by and see my world.
Donna stepped down from the podium, hoping she had made some impression on the students. She bought a cup of coffee and sat drinking it as the students filed out of the auditorium. She thanked the professor for inviting her, accepted complements from the students then drove home. When she got there she was greeted by Josh opening the front door for her and asking how it went, their children running in from outside hugging her like she'd been gone for days rather than hours and picking up the phone to give Toby and C.J. a call.