Vice President Pence Delivers Notre Dame Commencement Address CSPAN May 22, 2017 11:21pm-11:42pm EDT
all who come from near and far to share a special moment and congratulations to a generation of promise the notre dame university class of 2017. [applause] you know, it's great to be back home again. [applause] but i have to tell you it is deeply humbling to participate in the 172nd commencement here at the university in her 175th year. my first generation mother is here with us today 83 years young. [applause]
and you know, i'm pretty sure my mother never thought she would see me at a universit universite dame. the class of 201 2017 as a 2017f extraordinary accomplishment. you came from every corner of america and from across the world representing all 50 states and the district of columbia and puerto rico. some 3,143 men and women will graduate today with 3,171 degrees. by my accounts that means we have about 28 graduates earning multiple degrees. [applause]
you've come tyou come to this pe your parents and families gave you a foundation of love and education. they encouraged you and prayed for you and in most cases, they signed a whole lot of checks to make this day possible so before we go one step further, why don't you stand up, turn around, catch the eye of the loved ones here with us today and show them just how thankful you are for the love and support. [applause]
you are graduating from an exceptional university and my challenge to all of you is simply this, be exceptional from this day forth. the reverend and seven of those companions left their home and traveled north along the fields and forest and over the hills and they've reached the very ground on which we stand today. they established an institution with a noble mission in their words to become a powerful means for good, and so it has.
for 175 years, the men and women that have come before you in this place, but graduated from this university have gone forth to do good. the university of notre dame is special. [applause] from politics and prose you've been given a strong foundation of critical knowledge. you study the textbooks of discipline and learn the facts and figures that you need to succeed but the education doesn't end with a formation of the mind. in these halls, you've experienced the formation of the heart. your education here has prepared you for a life of service to your families and communities in the country to which you will
[applause] just as notre dame has been strong to protect its religious liberty, proud this president just took steps to ensure this university and the little sisters of the poor cannot be forced to violate their consciousness to fully participate in american civic life. [applause] just as notre dame has stood for those who are persecuted for their faith around the world, just a short while ago in saudi arabia, this president spoke out against religious persecution of all people, of all faiths. on the world stage he condemned in his words the murder of innocent muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of jews, and the slaughter of christians. [applause]
and where this president has stood for the unalienable rights of life, home, and abroad, i'm so proud of the university of notre dame has stood without apology for the sanctity of human life. [applause] your education at the university of notre dame has been exceptional. as the good book says, to whom much is given much will be required. so, i urges the rising generation, carried the ideals and the values that you have learned notre dame into your lives into your careers. be leaders. be leaders and your families, in your communities, and in every field of endeavor, for the values you have learned here at notre dame. in these divided times, i urge you to take warmer aspect of the culture of this historic
institution into the mainstream of american life. if the emanation of free speech were charted on a map like infrared heat signatures, one would hope the universities would be the hottest places, red and purple with dispute not dark blue and white, frozen into orthodoxy. if such a map or to exist, notre dame a burn bright with the goal of vibrant discussion. this university is a vanguard of freedom of expression and the free exchange of ideas that a time, sadly when free speech and stability are waiting on campuses across america. notre dame is a campus where deliberation is welcomed. where opposing views are debated and where every speaker, no how unpopular or unfashionable is afforded the right to air their views in the open for all to hear.
[applause] but notre dame is the exception. an island in a sea of conformity so far despair from the noxious wave that has been waving over much of academia. while this institution has maintained an atmosphere of civility and open debate, far too many campuses across america have been characterized by speech codes, safe zones, tone policing, administration sanctioning political correctness all of which amounts to nothing less than suppression of the freedom of speech. [applause] is all too, practices are destructive of learning in the pursuit of knowledge and they
are wholly outside the american tradition. [applause] is you, our youth of the future and universities, the bellwether of thoughts and culture. i would submit that the increasing intolerance and suppression of the time-honored tradition of free expression on our campuses jeopardizes the liberal use of every american. this should not and must not be met with silence. [applause] a little more than two years ago i was here when this university, this nation, and the world bid farewell to a giant of this
institution and of the 20th century. father theodore hesburgh. [applause] 's contribution as a longest-serving president of this institution and legion, his moral example is greater still and will impact generations. on this point of which i speak, he wrote words of admonition that i hope you will carry into the careers of consequence full fee for you he wrote and i quote, notre dame cam and must be a crossroads for all of the vital intellectual occurrence of our time in dialogue with the great issues has plumbed to their death, where every sincere inquire is welcomed and listen
to. where they can interlude with respect and love. father ted said that notre dame was to be as she is today, place where an endless conversation is harbored enough or closed. and so i say to this rising generation, so too must america be in your time. [applause] so, as new graduates of this exceptional university, i urge you to be leaders of the freedom of thought and expression. current example of principles you've learned here and all of the places you have lived in work.
from this day forward like the generations that have gone before you like the past 175 years, the graduates of the class of 2017, your call to lead for good. to be men and women of integrity and values. to be salt and light in these ever-changing times. and you are called in another way, to have faith. fred is the old book says, he knows the plans he has for you, plans to prosper you not to harm you. plans to give you hope and a future. strive every day to lead for good with courage and conviction. live your life according to the precepts and principles that you have learned and seen here at notre dame. in all you do have faith that he who have brought you this far will never leave you nor forsake you. because he never will.
if you hold fast to him, to the faith you have deepened into this place and all of you learned of the examples you've seen, i know you will not only persevere, you will prevail. you will lead your families, your professions, and our country to unimaginable heights. university of notre dame class of 2017, this is your day. so, go irish, the future is yours. [laughter] thank you. god bless you, and god bless the united states of america. [applause] [applause] [applause]
[applause] >> c-span's "washington journal", live every day with mason policy issues that impact too. coming up on tuesday morning, former senator discusses his book on limiting the power of the federal government. texas democratic president al green and his recent call to impeach president trump. also, documentary filmmaker will join us to talk about a new frontline film about white house chief strategist, steve bannon. watch c-span's "washington journal", live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on tuesday morning. join the discussion. >> wednesday, the house budget committee hears from white house budget director mick mulvaney on president trumps proposed budget for fiscal year 2018.
live coverage is at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span three. you can also follow life on c-span.org and are free c-span radio app. >> treasury secretary, steve minasian testifies on president trumps tax reform plan. we are live with the senate finance committee starting at 6:10 a.m. eastern on c-span three, ina olson, national taxpayer advocate testifies on fighting fraud and taxpayer id theft she appears before the irs services for taxpayers. this is about one hour. >> lessons learned from the