Commencement Address

Commencement Address RSS

  • June 7, 2014

    [Note: Secretary Duncan deviated in spots from his prepared remarks]

    Thank you, President DePoe, for that kind introduction. I am honored to be here, in the home of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes, and especially to share this wonderful day with you, your families, our tribal leadership, and our elders.

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  • May 16, 2014

    [Note: Secretary Duncan deviated in spots from his prepared remarks]

    Thank you, President Crow. And congratulations, Sun Devils!

    On the way over, President Crow gave me a quick tutorial on how to make the Pitchfork.

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  • June 7, 2013

    Thank you, President Rodríguez, and good afternoon everyone. Thanks for welcoming me to Caiman Country, and for gracing me with an honorary degree.

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  • June 1, 2013

    Thank you so much, President Fowler, for that kind introduction.

    It's such a pleasure to join you today to do something that should happen much more often in education—and that is to celebrate success. I can't tell you how honored I am to have this opportunity to speak with you, and to celebrate your accomplishments with your friends and family.

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  • May 19, 2012

    Good morning everyone, and thank you for having me here today. I can't tell you how honored I am to have this opportunity. I have walked in beauty with the Navajo people in this land. It is an opportunity I will never forget.

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  • September 2, 2011


    This is a great day. It's a time to reflect on your wonderful accomplishments and look forward to your future and the future of our nation.

    It's a chance to honor those who have supported you and nurtured you – and to think about how you can serve your community, your culture and future generations.

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  • May 10, 2011

    Washington — Today, the White House announced Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, Tennessee as the winner of the 2011 Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge. Vice President Joseph Biden called Principal Alisha Kiner today to tell her the school had won.

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  • May 9, 2011

    Thank you, Jermaine--and my thanks to the Student Government Association and to all of the class of 2011 for having me here today.

    First things first--let me just say how disappointed Secretary Duncan was that he couldn't make the trip today. But he asked me to convey his praise and pride for the hard work that brought you to this graduation day and earning your degree.

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  • July 9, 2010

    President Ebersole, Chairman Yepp, distinguished guests, faculty, families, friends, and, most especially, the Excelsior Class of 2010, students, thank you for inviting me to speak at your commencement.

  • June 26, 2010

    Thank you, President Murphy. It's a pleasure to be here this morning to join in celebrating the class of 2010's success.

    I want to begin with a confession today: I was a little intimidated to learn about some of the celebrity orators who speak at commencement ceremonies in the Bay Area.

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