commencement address

Home » commencement address

Obama at Morehouse

I know that some conservatives were licking their lips and drooling at the prospect of Barack Obama speaking at Morehouse College. I know that there were several commentators who spent a ridiculous amount of time going on about how Barack Obama would not have delivered the same speech at Harvard as he did at Morehouse. I find it relatively ridiculous that one would expect the President of the United States to deliver the exact same speech at Harvard that he would at a historically black college like Morehouse. This was another great speech by Barack Obama. He was funny, he was serious, he was inspiring and he delivered a message to a group of black men that he couldn’t and shouldn’t deliver at Harvard, Yale or almost any other college in the United States. He tailored his speech to his audience. This is exactly what you’re supposed to do if you are a good public speaker.

Excerpts from President Barack Obama’s Morehouse commencement address:

It was that mission — not just to educate men, but to cultivate good men, strong men, upright men — that brought community leaders together just two years after the end of the Civil War. They assembled a list of 37 men, free blacks and freed slaves, who would make up the first prospective class of what later became Morehouse College. Most of those first students had a desire to become teachers and preachers — to better themselves so they could help others do the same. (more…)

By |2013-05-25T20:41:43-04:00May 24th, 2013|Education, Obama administration, Race|Comments Off on Obama at Morehouse

Obama at Wesleyan University

Giving a compelling commencement address is very, very difficult. I’ve sat in the audience on more than one occasion. I remember being very bored during most of the commencement addresses while the speaker droned on about something.

But the young people at Wesleyan had a chance to listen to Senator Barack Obama. Man, that must be something. Here’s a portion of Obama’s speech:

At a time when our ice caps are melting and our oceans are rising, we need you to help lead a green revolution. We still have time to avoid the catastrophic consequences of climate change if we get serious about investing in renewable sources of energy, and if we get a generation of volunteers to work on renewable energy projects, and teach folks about conservation, and help clean up polluted areas; if we send talented engineers and scientists abroad to help developing countries promote clean energy.

At a time when a child in Boston must compete with children in Beijing and Bangalore, we need an army of you to become teachers and principals in schools that this nation cannot afford to give up on. I will pay our educators what they deserve, and give them more support, but I will also ask more of them to be mentors to other teachers, and serve in high-need schools and high-need subject areas like math and science.

At a time when there are children in the city of New Orleans who still spend each night in a lonely trailer, we need more of you to take a weekend or a week off from work, and head down South, and help rebuild. If you can’t get the time, volunteer at the local homeless shelter or soup kitchen in your own community. Find an organization that’s fighting poverty, or a candidate who promotes policies you believe in, and find a way to help them.

At a time of war, we need you to work for peace. At a time of inequality, we need you to work for opportunity. At a time of so much cynicism and so much doubt, we need you to make us believe again, Class of 2008.

By |2008-05-26T02:04:56-04:00May 26th, 2008|Education, Election 2008|Comments Off on Obama at Wesleyan University
Go to Top