American Commencement: Graduation Speeches that Inspired a New Nation


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Most of our qualified teachers are underpaid, and many of our paid teachers are unqualified. So we must give every child a place to sit and a teacher to learn from. Poverty must not be a bar to learning, and learning must offer an escape from poverty. But more classrooms and more teachers are not enough.

We must seek an educational system which grows in excellence as it grows in size. This means better training for our teachers. It means preparing youth to enjoy their hours of leisure as well as their hours of labor. It means exploring new techniques of teaching, to find new ways to stimulate the love of learning and the capacity for creation.

These are three of the central issues of the Great Society. While our Government has many programs directed at those issues, I do not pretend that we have the full answer to those problems. But I do promise this: We are going to assemble the best thought and the broadest knowledge from all over the world to find those answers for America. I intend to establish working groups to prepare a series of White House conferences and meetings — on the cities, on natural beauty, on the quality of education, and on other emerging challenges.

And from these meetings and from this inspiration and from these studies we will begin to set our course toward the Great Society. The solution to these problems does not rest on a massive program in Washington, nor can it rely solely on the strained resources of local authority. They require us to create new concepts of cooperation, a creative federalism, between the National Capital and the leaders of local communities.

Within your lifetime powerful forces, already loosed, will take us toward a way of life beyond the realm of our experience, almost beyond the bounds of our imagination.

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For better or for worse, your generation has been appointed by history to deal with those problems and to lead America toward a new age. You have the chance never before afforded to any people in any age. You can help build a society where the demands of morality, and the needs of the spirit, can be realized in the life of the Nation. So, will you join in the battle to give every citizen the full equality which God enjoins and the law requires, whatever his belief, or race, or the color of his skin?

Will you join in the battle to make it possible for all nations to live in enduring peace — as neighbors and not as mortal enemies? Will you join in the battle to build the Great Society, to prove that our material progress is only the foundation on which we will build a richer life of mind and spirit? There are those timid souls who say this battle cannot be won; that we are condemned to a soulless wealth. I do not agree. We have the power to shape the civilization that we want.

But we need your will, your labor, your hearts, if we are to build that kind of society. Those who came to this land sought to build more than just a new country. They sought a new world.

So I have come here today to your campus to say that you can make their vision our reality. So let us from this moment begin our work so that in the future men will look back and say: It was then, after a long and weary way, that man turned the exploits of his genius to the full enrichment of his life. This love has taken on an academic bent as she's pursued a Master's degree in animal behavior and conservation at Hunter College in New York City. This week, the actress, director, and professional eccentric took home her degree.

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According to Rossellini herself, though, she was hardly the star of her own ceremony. Hillary Clinton delivered the commencement speech!!!! Congratulations to all of us. Still, a shared passion that binds them.

At her graduation, Rossellini had a chance to address to her classmates onstage as a featured speaker. Rossellini was chosen in part because, as Hunter's president wrote on Instagram , she "has been a perfect fit huntercollege since day one, six years ago. In a show of her relative stature at Hunter, Rossellini even entered just behind Clinton in the procession.

Her son, Roberto Rossellini, caught a video of the two walking single-file.


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Rossellini didn't miss her chance to get Clinton content, either. In a quick, delightfully fangirl-y video, she pans quickly to Clinton, then squeals with delight. Finally got my Masters degree on Animal Behavior and Conservation! The ceremony was most touching and inspiring.

Know one another, and you will love one another. I hope the examples of Lucius Lamar and Charles Sumner, Webster and Forsyth, Adams and Baldwin, will be an inspiration to all of those whom we honor on this solemn day of Commencement. For them, this is the last of their June days on this beautiful campus - the identical group sitting here this morning will probably never gather again - and the winds of time will gradually erase most of the memories which seem so important today. But what concerns us most on these occasions is not what you graduates leave behind but what you take with you, what you will do with it, and what contribution you can make.

I am assuming, of course, that you are taking something with you, that you do not look upon this university as Dean Swift regarded Oxford. Oxford, he said, was truly a great seat of learning; for all freshmen who entered were required to bring some learning with them in order to meet the standards of admission - but no senior, when he left the university, ever took any learning away; and thus it steadily accumulated. The high regard with which your education at Georgia is held is evidenced by the intensive competition which rages between those hoping to benefit from it.

Your campus is visited by prospective employers of every kind, ranging from corporation vice-presidents to professional football coaches. Great newspaper advertisements offer inducements to chemists, engineers, and electronic specialists. High public officials plead for more college graduates to follow scientific pursuits. And many of you will be particularly persuaded by the urgent summons to duty and travel which comes from your local draft board.

FLOTUS Michelle Obama's Speech at 2016 JSU Spring Undergraduate Commencement

But in the midst of all of these pleas, plans and pressures, few, I dare say, if any, will be urging upon you a career in the field of politics. Some will point out the advantages of civil service positions. Others will talk in high terms of public service, or statesmanship, or community leadership. But few, if any, will urge you to become politicians. I have no great liking for that. Politics, in short, has become one of our most neglected, our most abused and our most ignored professions.

Angela Merkel stresses importance of breaking down walls in Harvard graduation speech

It ranks low on the occupational list of a large share of the population; and its chief practitioners are rarely well of favorably known. No education, except finding your way around a smoke-filled room, is considered necessary for political success. For both students and teachers find it difficult to accept the differences between the laboratory and the legislature. In the former, the goal is truth, pure and simple, without regard to changing currents of public opinion; in the latter, compromises and majorities and procedural customs and rights affect the ultimate decision as to what is right or just or good.

And even when they realize the difference, most intellectuals consider their chief function to be that of the critic - and politicians are sensitive to critics possibly because we have so many of them. Daniel Webster could throw thunderbolts at Hayne on the Senate floor and then stroll a few steps down the corridor and dominate the Supreme Course as the foremost lawyer of his time.

John Quincy Adams, after being summarily dismissed from the Senate by the Massachusetts Legislature for a notable display of independence, could become Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard and then become a great Secretary of State. Those were the happy days when Harvard professors had no difficulty getting Senate confirmation.

This link between American scholarship and the American politician remained for more than a century. A little more than one hundred years ago in the Presidential campaign of , the Republicans sent three brilliant orators around the campaign circuit: William Cullen Bryant, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I would urge therefore that each of you, regardless of your chosen occupation, consider entering the field of politics at some stage in your career, that you offer to the political arena, and to the critical problems of our society which are decided therein, the benefit of the talents which society has helped to develop in you.

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I ask you to decide, as Goethe put it, whether you will be an anvil - or a hammer. The question now is whether you are to be a hammer - whether you are to give to the world in which you were reared and educated the broadest possible benefits of that education. This is a great university, the University of Georgia. Its establishment and continued functioning, like that of all great universities, has required considerable effort and expenditure. Every man sent out from a university should be a man of his nation, as well as a man of his time. I leave it to each of you to decide which category you fall in.

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But if you are to be among the rulers of our land, from precinct captain to President, if you are willing to enter the abused and neglected profession of politics, then let me tell you - as one who is familiar with the political world - that we stand in serious need of the fruits of your education.

American Commencement: Graduation Speeches that Inspired a New Nation American Commencement: Graduation Speeches that Inspired a New Nation
American Commencement: Graduation Speeches that Inspired a New Nation American Commencement: Graduation Speeches that Inspired a New Nation
American Commencement: Graduation Speeches that Inspired a New Nation American Commencement: Graduation Speeches that Inspired a New Nation
American Commencement: Graduation Speeches that Inspired a New Nation American Commencement: Graduation Speeches that Inspired a New Nation
American Commencement: Graduation Speeches that Inspired a New Nation American Commencement: Graduation Speeches that Inspired a New Nation
American Commencement: Graduation Speeches that Inspired a New Nation American Commencement: Graduation Speeches that Inspired a New Nation
American Commencement: Graduation Speeches that Inspired a New Nation American Commencement: Graduation Speeches that Inspired a New Nation
American Commencement: Graduation Speeches that Inspired a New Nation American Commencement: Graduation Speeches that Inspired a New Nation
American Commencement: Graduation Speeches that Inspired a New Nation

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