Posts Tagged ‘eku

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May
13

The First Lady at EKU

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Video of speech here and hereReaction of Graduates

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Preview of the lead up to the First Lady’s visit:

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The Fisrt Lady receives her honorary doctorate:

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United States First Lady Michelle Obama came not with answers but with questions for the Eastern Kentucky University degree candidates she addressed at spring commencement today.

The first was “Who are you going to be?”

Explaining that it will be their response to adversity, their resilience and determination that defines them, the First Lady told the graduates, “If you’re willing to dig deep, if you’re willing to pick yourself up when you fall, if you’re willing to work and work until your weaknesses become your strengths, you’ll develop a set of skills that you can mold and apply to any situation you encounter, any job you might have, any crisis you may confront.”

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First lady Michelle Obama urged Eastern Kentucky University graduates on Saturday night to reach out to people with different political beliefs, saying the country would benefit from the conversations.

“If you’re a Democrat, spend some time talking to a Republican,” Mrs. Obama told about 600 education, business and technology graduates at the third and final commencement ceremony of the day. “And if you’re a Republican, have a chat with a Democrat. Maybe you’ll find some common ground, maybe you won’t.”

The first lady suggested that they visit senior centers to benefit from the experiences of people with plenty of “life experience under their belts.” She also pointed them to religious congregations different than their own, saying they might hear something in a sermon “that stays with you.” And she predicted they would learn something if they reached out “with an open mind and an open heart.”

“And goodness knows, we need more of that,” she said. “Because we know what happens when we only talk to people who think like we do. We just get stuck in our ways.”

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First lady Michelle Obama invoked the spirit of student veterans Saturday as she challenged graduates at Eastern Kentucky University’s spring commencement to seek out diverse experiences and find ways to serve the community.

“When you’ve worked hard and done well, as I’ve said, the least you can do is reach back and give a hand to somebody else who can use that help,” Obama told a cheering crowd of 6,200 who filled EKU’s Alumni Coliseum in the last of three commencement ceremonies.

In a 20-minute speech that touched on struggles with affordable education and post-college employment, she asked graduating seniors to contemplate the resilience of student veterans who are one day wearing a rucksack and carrying a firearm and the next day wearing a backpack and carrying a textbook.

“If you are willing to dig deep, if you are willing to pick yourself up when you fall, if you are willing to work and work until your weaknesses become your strengths, then you will develop the type of skills that you can mold and apply to any situation you might encounter,” she said.

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