tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN June 2, 2015 1:00am-3:01am EDT
train derailment in philadelphia last month. there were eight fatalities and 200 injuries as a result of that crash. live coverage will get under way at 10:00 a.m. eastern. then, in the afternoon at 2:00 eastern, a hearing on the takata airbag safety and recall issues. it's also on c pf span 3. >> remarks now from former secretary of state condoleezza rice as she gives the commencement address at college of william & mary. robert gates who served with secretary rice during the bush administration is the chancellor of william & mary and presented
her with an honorary degree. [ applause ] >> condoleezza rice, yours has truly been a life of vast accomplishment and striking service. william & mary is proud to honor you. by virtue of the authority vested in me and by the college of william & mary in virginia i here by confer upon you the doctorate honoris causit. [ applause ]
congratulations. asserting the massive authority that occurs to me as chancellor, i am pre-empting the president to introduce our commencement speaker. ladies and gentlemen, my dear friend and a very great american, condoleezza rice. [ applause ] >> thank you very very much for that tremendous welcome and for this tremendous honor. it's quite something to be named in the same breath with benjamin franklin and indeed i was the 66th secretary of the united
states states. i wanted to thank my great friend and your chancellor bob gates. i want to thank you, too, bob for your life of em am plear service to our country and i want to thank the president of the college. president wrigley you have done a marvelous job of leading this fine institution to the director and todd stuttlemeyer and the board thank you for your leadership of william & mary and to the staff who have nurtured them and cared for them. to family and friends, thank you for your support and love of these graduates and to the class of 2015, congratulations!
[ applause ] now, it's great to be here in tribe country. as an ak democrat mek i'm pleased to be here because this is a respective place of learning and it's had such an important role in the history of our country. as a southerner, it's nice to be a little closer to my roots. and as a sports fan, i want you to know that thanks to your football coach, i now have enough t-shirts and hats and golf balls to be a member of the tribe for the rest of my life. [ applause ] it's been many years since my own undergraduate commencement at the university of denver. i remember almost everything about it. i remember how proud my parents were. i remember the closeness i felt to my classmates and my friends. i remember the thrill of achieving my academic goal. i do not, however remember a single word that the commencement speaker said that day and you won't either and i
promise not to take it personally. on this day, you can be forgiven for feeling a little restless and a little prowl. you'll have lasting memories of this place and your professors trying to outdo each other in the debates and even i will remember the joy on your faces as i joined you last night for the candlelight ceremony. those experiences have been a part of your journey together, a journey that ends today in celebration of your educational achievements at this highly respected institution. education is transformative. it literally changes lives. that is why people over the centuries have worked so hard to become educated. education is more than any other force can help to erase arbitrary divisions of race and class and culture and unlock every person's god given potential. this belief is very personal for
me. it has long been an article of faith in my family. i first learned of this idea through stories about my paternal grandfather, a real family hero named john wesley rice sr. he was a share cropper that was utwa alabama. he decided to get book learning in a college and so he asked how a colored man could go to college. and they told him there was this little presbyterian school called stoneman college. he saved up his cotton for tuition and after the first year they said, so how are you going to pay are to the second year? he said well, i'm out of cotton. they said, you're out of luck. but thinking quickly he said how are those other boys going to college?
they said, they have a scholarship and if you wanted to be a presbyterian scholar, you could have a scholarship, too. so my family has been presbyterian ever since. my john wesley was onto something. he knew that education would allow him to be something that he otherwise would not even imagine and knew that it would resonate for generations to come. indeed, my father went on to become not just college educated and advanced degreed and an administrator at the university of denver and a presbyterian minister. and his sister, my aunt teresa, would go to the university of wisconsin in 1952. she would get a ph.d. in victorian literature and write books on dickens. you think what i do is weird for
a black person? she wrote books on dickens. [ applause ] because of all that my grandfather and others of my ancestors, really second-class citizenship, she understood that education was a privilege not a right. and that it therefore conferred certain obligations. and so today i would like to talk a little bit with you about the important responsibilities of educated people. the first responsibility is really one that you have to yourself, the responsibility to find something that you're passionate about and follow it. i don't mean just any old thing that interests you, not just something that you might or might not do but that one unique calling that you can't do without. as an educated person, you have the opportunity to spend your life doing what you love and you should never forget that many people don't enjoy such a rare privilege. as you work to find your
passion, you should know that sometimes your passion finds you. that's exactly what happened to me because you see, my first passion was to be a concert pianist. i could read notes before i could read. but i started encountering prodigies, 12-year-olds that could play what i took all year to learn and i was 17. i thought, i'm about to end up playing a piano in a piano bar or maybe teaching 13-year-olds to murder beethoven or maybe playing the piano while you're shopping in the department store but i'm not going to play at carnegie hall so i went to my parents and i had the following conversation. mom and dad, i've decided to change my major. to what are you going to change your major? i don't know. well it's my life. well, it's our money. find a major. i went back to college in
desperate search of a major and my first thought was english literature. now, with all due respect to the english literature faculty out there, i hated it. so now it's winter quarter of junior year. my project was to interview the city water manager of denver, the single most boring man that i have met to this day and i thought, well, that's not it either. but then in the spring quarter of my junior year i wandered into a course taught by a czech refugee, a man named joseph corbell, whose daughter was named madeleine albright. with that one class i was hooked. i discovered that my passion was things that are national, things russian and diplomacy. needless to say, this was not exactly what a young black girl from birmingham was expected to do in the early 1970s. but it was like finding love. i couldn't explain it. but i knew it was right.
and you know something else, several years later, as i was taking off from a helicopter from the south lawn of the white house, serving president george h.w. bush soviet specialist i sat there with gorbachev, his wife and me and i thought i am really glad i changed my major. keep an open mind and keep searching. and when you find your passion, it is yours. not what someone else thinks it should be. don't let anyone define your passion for you. because of your gender or the color of your skin. [ applause ] the second responsibility of an educated person is commitment to reason.
here at william & mary you haven't been taught what to think about how to think how to ask questions, how to reject assumptions, how to seek knowledge. in short how to exercise reason. this experience will sustain you for the rest of your lives but no one should assume that a life of reason is easy. to the contrary. it takes a great deal of purge and honesty. the only way that you will grow intellectually is by examining your opinions attacking your prejudices constantly and completely with the force of your reason. this can be unsettling and it can be tempting, instead, to opt for the comfort of a life without questions. it's possible today to live in an echo chamber that serves only to reinforce a high opinion of yourself and what you think. that is a temptation that he had
indicated people must reject. at those times when you've decided that you are absolutely right, go and find someone who disagrees. don't allow yourself the easy course of the constant amen to everything that you say. a commitment to reason leads to your third responsibility of an educated person, which is the rejection of false pride. it is natural especially among the educated, to want to credit your success to your own intelligence and hard work and judgment. and it is true of course, that all of you sitting here today are here because you do in fact, possess those qualities. but it is also true that merit alone did not get you to this state. there are many people in this country who are just as intelligent, just as hardworking, just as deserving of success as you are. but for whatever reason maybe a broken home, maybe poverty, maybe just bad luck, they did
not enjoy the opportunities that you have had at william & mary. don't ever forget that from this day on learn to listen humbly. be optimistic. too often cynicism can be the travel of learning and i surely understand why. history is full of much cruelty and suffering and darkness and can sometimes be hard to believe that a brighter future is indeed dawning. but for all our past failings for all of our current problems, more people now enjoy lives of hope and opportunity than in any other time in human history. this progress has been because of the concerted effort not of cynics, but of visionaries and optimists and idealists who don't live our world as it was but never lost sight of the world as it should be. here in america, our own ideals
of freedom and equality have been borne by optimists. there was a day in my own lifetime when the hope of liberty and justice for all seemed quite impossible. but because individuals kept faith with the ideal of equality, we see a different america today. you're headed into a world where optimists are too often told to keep their ideals to themselves. don't do it. believe in the possibility of human progress and act to advance it. now, what do i mean by human progress? i believe that all human beings share a certain fundamental aspirations. they want protections for their lives and their liberties. they want to think freely and to worship as they wish. they want opportunities to educate their children, both boys and girls and they want to be ruled by the concept of the govern, not by the coercion of the state.
and -- -- and they want to be treated with respect. no matter who they are or how they look. this challenges us to accept and embrace difference. all too often difference has been used to divide and to dehumanize. i grew up in birmingham, alabama, the home of the clueku klux klan. i know how it feels to hold aspirations when your neighbors think that you are incapable or uninterested in anything higher and perhaps there are some members of this audience who have faced that from time to time. we have not and will not quickly erase the lasting impact of our birth defect of slavery or the follow-on challenge of overcoming prejudices of one another.
but please remember this. we do not have a constitutional right not to be offended. we are americans. [ applause ] we are americans and i believe that we are fundamentally decent people and in every decent society, whether here or abroad, we should seek not to offend but we will help our cause if we also resolve to be slow in taking offense. it is a great act of kindness to give someone else the benefit of the doubt. try to react to others as you would hope they would react to you you, no matter the color of their skin and no matter the color of yours. and as we look from here out into the world where men and women seek the very basic
liberties that we enjoy let us remember that they are indeed different but their desires for freedom are like ours. in my professional life i've listened with disbelief when they say the men and women of africa or asia are not drawn to the dignity that liberty destous. maybe some say they are not ready, too tribal too poor, too religious. do not patronize them in this way. it is your responsibility as educated people to help close the gaps of justice and opportunity and, yes, the gaps of freedom that still exist beyond our shores, just as you must do here at home. at william & mary i know the mission of service is very close to the heart of this college, a recognized model for learning, the ideal of service to others has inspired this class and those before to devote thousands
of hours of your own time to help those in need. yes, your service has and will help them. but it is true that it helps you more. because when you encounter those who are less fortunate, you cannot possibly give way to grievance. why do i not have or its twin brother entitlement? why don't they give me? in fact, you will ask, why have i been given so much? and from that spirit you will join the legions of optimists and idealists who are working toward a better human future. what better place to draw on that spirit than here in colonial williamsburg where a college educated and patient patrons, like thomas jefferson and john marshall went forward to build a rule of law, their
political institutions did not always live up to the grand aspirations expressed in their great documents. their and their endeavors were imperfect as are all human beings. they stumbled. sometimes they failed but they kept going and left a legacy that allowed future generations, descendents of the free and descendents of slaves to pick up the torch and walk toward the goal of making we the people a more inclusive concept. you now leave that very college william & mary, to join the ranks of the most privileged community, the community of the educated. it is a club that you may never quit and from which you can never be expelled. but remember it does confer responsibilities. so as you leave, i ask you to bear a few things in mind. be passionate about what you choose to do in life. use your powers of reason
cultivate humility remain optimistic and always try to serve others and the goals of freedom and justice. capture this moment forevereye. the day when you and your parents and your family and your friends came to this place to celebrate a new beginning. and affirm on this day that as you leave this place, you will always remember why you came. may god speed you on your way today and for the rest of your lives. thank you. [ applause ] another commencement address now from former secretary of state madeleine albright.
she tells graduates in massachusetts that the world needs a new generation of leaders. [ applause ] >> president distinguished faculty and trustees, honored guests, most important people, members of the class of 2015 -- [cheers and applause ] -- families and friends good morning. i want to begin by thanking tufts very, very much for this honorary degree. and i know i speak for my fellow honorees for saying how grateful we all are and i'm so honored to be with all of them because they are a remarkable group of people. as the class of 2015 well knows, a degree is a very precious
thing. it's very satisfying to work hard and earn one. it's another delight to receive one simply for showing up. but that's not the only reason that i'm excited to be here. although i didn't attend tufts i feel a very personal connection to this outstanding university. back in the 1960s, this is where i met one of my heroes, former secretary of state dean ach chi son, after he delivered a speech. and i never, ever imagined that i would one day be appointed to achison's job. it's not that i liked ambition. it's just that i had never seen a secretary of state in a skirt. as a professor and a mother of three college graduates, i have to confess that i just love commencement ceremonies. they are a unique milestone in our lives because they celebrate past accomplishments and future possibilities. to the parents of the class of
2015, i can only say, the moment has finally come. having once been in your position, i expect that you're thinking with some amazement about how short the interval is between diapers and diplomas. to the students i say congratulations. in order to reach this day you had to pass one of the most difficult tests of all, surviving a truly wicked boston winter. now that you've all thousandedawed out you will realize graduations is one of the five milestones of life. the others being, birth, marriage, death and the day you finally pay off your student loans. today is a time forever celebration and for looking back and admitting that all the hard work of reading and writing and studying and cramming before tests was, indeed worth it. in few two years, you will recall this ceremony and you
will understand that today may 17th 2015, was the day you first began to forget everything you learned in college and graduate school. but as the names of dead european kings and the body parts of dissected animals begin to fade the true value of your days on the hill in boston or in graftton will become more and more apparent. for by studying here at tafts, you alongside from students of more than 100 countries have gained a global perspective and that's true whether your degree is economic medicine, whether is it you studied the art of diploma engineering. the class of 2015 will truly live global lives. you will compete in a global workplace, shop in a global marketplace and travel further and more often than any prior
generation. to succeed you will require the kind of knowledge that extends it way beyond mere facts to knowledge itself. and i know from my own experience that such wisdom can be hard to obtain. i arrived at welsley college about halfway between the invention of the apple watch and the discovery of fire. i had one basic goal which was to be accepted. as an immigrant i didn't want to stand out. i wanted to fit in. fortunately, in the 1950s, conformity was encouraged, though we were also in a period of transition. women were finding our voices but we were also expected to be young ladies, except for perhaps during that occasion outing to boston. in college, i learned much about renaissance composures and shakespearean plays and learned a lot about myself, that i
wanted to use the fine education that i had received for something more than meaningful table conversation. that i wanted to test not simply accept the limits of the boundaries of the life that i was preparing to lead that i wanted to give back to this country that had given so much to me. i suspect that the same is true for you and your experience here at tufts. you arrived here having already lived 21st sent tree lives. some came from the nearby towns in new england. others from the suburbs of los angeles and the city neighborhoods of chicago. some were raised amid the skyscrapers of hong kong. others iraqi refugee camps in syria. some lost loved ones in 9/11. and all of you lived through the trauma of the boston marathon bombing and its aftermath. regardless of where you came from at tufts, you have learned much about what is outside you
and much about what is inside you as well. you learned how to put your opinions and your assumptions to a test. and this is important. because from this day forward, you will have to rely not on grades or guidance from professors to tell you how you're doing and where you stand. you will have to rely instead on an inner compass, whether that compass is true will determine whether you have become a drifter who is blown about by every breeze or a doer an active citizen determined to chart your own course, questioned your assumptions and when necessary sail unafraid against strong winds. i look around this morning at the class of 2015 and i have to tell you that all i see are doers, which is good, because in the years to come there will be much for you to do both here at
home and overseas. i'm keenly aware that commencement speakers have a habit of ticking through the world's problems and then challenging graduates to fix them. and, yes that's what i plan to do. but when i tell you that the world needs you, i really really do mean it. for we are living in a time that is more unsettled, more complicated and in more need of a generation of leaders than any that i can recall. at home america's great challenge will be to retain a sense of community and common purpose. as today's graduates reflect, we are a diverse people. we are all proud of the distinctions that gave us ourselves our separate identities and loyal to the groups to which we belong. this kind of solidarity is a means of honoring ancestors and a way to inspire the young. it makes us feel less alone and helps us finds for ourselves a
unique place in a crowd. but there's also a danger. because when we -- when pride in us descends into fear or hatred of them, the american tapestry unravels and the social fabric is torn. the result may be a young african-american gunned down in florida, a shooting at a jewish community center in kansas city or a gay couple brutally attacked at a new york restaurant. yes, we are proud of our group identities but it's what comes after them and after that hyphen of american that counts most. no matter our race creed, gender or sexual orientation, we are all equal shareholders in the american dream. and that means --
[ applause ] and that means we do not fear our differences, we embrace them. living up to that principle and valuing fairly the contributions of each other is what tufts counsel on campus security was all about and it's the great test our nation must pass in the 21st century. around the world we will face other tests. the outcome of which is equally uncertain. today, the international landscape is as contradict industry and combustible as i have ever seen. technology and globalization help bring about unprecedented prosperity and progress for millions of people but also cast new shadows upon the world. we see this in the resurgence of nationalism in europe and asia, alongside rising sectarianism and extremism in the middle east. we see it in the widening gap
between the rich and the poor and growing dangers to the environmental health of our planet. we see how technology has given new destructive tools to groups who use religion as a license to murder as if god's commitment -- commandment was thou shalt skill and we see how the 21st century has been proven wrong. to put it another way the world is a mess. that is a diplomatic term of art. i'm sorry, but it's true. yet, for all the anxieties and turmoil that surround us i have to say that i remain an optimist though an optimist who worries a lot. around the world, america remains the brighten beacon of human liberty. we are diverse entrepreneurial and we are resillient.
no other country is in a better position to succeed in this new era than we are. we must be unafraid to express our leadership but we must also realize that for all our power we can rarely succeed by simply going it alone. if we want the world to heed our views and follow our lead, we must listen to the concern of others. we must listen confidently to rising powers, such as china who want to have a greater say in global governance as we push themselves to the same rules that we uphold. we must listen to scientist who is say global warming is real and a great threat to our future. [ applause ] scientists who believe that conservation is a national security imperative, not a four-letter world. and we must listen to those who
argue that globalization should not lead to marginalization of the world's poor. i have traveled almost everywhere and i have found essentially three categories of countries in the world today. in the first, people work all day and still don't have enough to eat. in the second families are able to scrape together just enough food to meet their basic needs. in the third category of countries, diet books are best sellers. of course the same distinctions also apply to the neighborhoods of boston and baltimore and to the mountains of appalacha and the america west. some people shrug their shoulders and say such inequality is too bad but there's not anything that anybody can do about it. i say such unfairness is intolerable and we each have a responsibility to change it. [ applause ]
as the light on the hill, the tufts community has always taken these responsibilities seriously and today's graduates are no exception. through protests and marches you have made your voices heard on behalf of the voiceless. you have stood up on behalf of workers. you have spoken out against the scourge of sexual assault. you have pressed for action on climate change. with the assistance of institutions, such as tish college, you have shown yourself to be active citizens and i'm proud that this commitment to public service was recognized when the truman scholarship foundation, which i chair named tufts, was honor institution last year. so there's an awful lot to congratulate you on today. but as i said earlier, i want to challenge to you do far far more after you leave this
wonderful place. for a while, there was time when you could say that you didn't know enough. today, armed with this extraordinary education, there can be no doubt that you can help produce enough food, build enough shelter deliver enough medicine and share enough knowledge to allow people everywhere to live better and more productive lives. now, i don't intend to put the weight of the world upon your shoulders because that is always going to be your parents' job. but i do help -- actually i insist that each of you after bidding farewell to jumbo and having your last drink at buren use the knowledge here gained at tufts to be more than just a consumer of liberty. i insist that you also be a defender and enricher of it employing your talents to heal help and teach both here at home and abroad. i insist that you be doers, not
just hearers. i insist that you put your opinions to the test when required and you dare, as tufts' motto suggests, to be voice for peace and light because your choices will make all the difference to you and to all of us. the future depends not on the stars or some mysterious forces of history but rather on the decisions that you make and i truly, truly mean that. you are the leaders of tomorrow and it will be your job to pick up the baton so often mishandled by the leaders of yesterday and today. it is the job that you must approach with modesty for some of what is thought to be knowledge today will be considered mistaken assumptions tomorrow. but humility and critical thinking when combined with courage and determination are indispensable qualities of
leadership. it is said that all work that is worth doing is done in faith. today, at this ceremony of cherished memory and shared resolve, let us each embrace the fact that every challenge sur mounted by our energy, every problem solved by our wisdom every soul awakened by our passion and every barrier to justice brought down by our determination will ennoble our lives, eninspire others. to the class of 2015, i say again, congratulations and thank you so much for making me a part of your remarkable class. thank you. [ applause ]
[ applause ] republican senator lindsey graham has now declared that he is running for the republican nomination of president. we'll see more campaign announcements coming up this he can would. wednesday, former governor lincoln chafee will announce that he's a democratic running for president. and on thursday former governor rick perry will declare that he's a republican candidate for president. that will begin live at 12:30 eastern, also here on c-span 3 and online at c-span.org. up next a commencement ceremony from oklahoma state university.
james langford following his speech, we'll hear remarks from the u.s. ambassador to saudi arabia. >> well, good morning to you. this is number 23. isn't this romantic? i took her to a commencement for our anniversary. so we'll later tonight be able to have a nice romantic dinner and cuddle around the tv and watch weather like everyone else. so welcome to oklahoma on that. graduates, congratulations to you. it's a very big day for you and your family. so i hope you enjoy and you just take this in in the moments ahead and you're able to remember well what happens here. there are a couple of moments in your life that you will get free advice from random strangers. this is one of them. if anyone finds out you're
graduating, total strangers will go, great this will happen again when you get married and when you get pregnant. okay. so just at that point you just smile, nod you want to say do i know you but you don't. fill filter out what is helpful. will you do it to some graduate and you'll randomly in the produce produce aisles startling them about life. enjoy it. there's free advice that you can filter as you choose to but i want to be able to put a few things together to say these are things that i think are very significant for you to consider and not lose track of. number one is this. get out of debt. now, i know the irony of someone currently serving in the united states senate talking about us
getting out of debt. i get that. but i'm going to tell you, this is one of those things that you want to get off of your back as quickly as you can. if you have any debt do whatever you can to knock that out as quick as you can. i know you want to get a real car and real furniture. all of those things ahead as you land a job and mortgage and wonderful responsibilities. knockout the debt as fast as you can. you'll be grateful to have that off of your back and to be able to focus on other things in life. second thing is this. reconnect with your faith. i'm amazed at the number of students that i interact with that had a practicing faith up until they got midway through college and then just somehow drifted. i understand this is the united states of america. not everyone has to have a faith. but for those that choose to have faith i encourage them to actually live the faith that they have. and to be able to walk in that. it will always be meaningful to
you in your life. if you've grown cold and distant in your faith, re-engage in your faith. there are a lot of terrifying moments that are both terrifying and exciting in your life including today, because for some of you, as you graduate today, you suddenly realize, oh, there's adulthood coming monday. for some of you, you have successfully postponed that by getting a master's degree soon. but that terrifying moment of realizing i'm about to take the next step and i do not know what's there you should have that moment also be a moment where you walk in your faith. how many of you have been to the united states capitol before? let me see your hands. that's great. when you get to the united states capitol, there are a series of paintings in the rotunda which looks like it currently has an iron maiden
around it. the dome itself is our second dome. the first was wooden copper. the rotunda actually predates the dome above it. the dome was built during the civil war but the paintings underneath it, the last of those were put in the 1840s. my favorite of those is called the pilgrims. the paintings are to depict the beginning of america. one of them depicts the moment america began. and it's a painting of a group of individuals on the decaf ship huddle and an open bible praying as their ship is leaving for europe. and that moment that was captured is both a terrifying moment for them, of not knowing where they are going, but reassuring reconnection to there is something very important to us. we don't know where we are going but we know god will be there when we get there. i would encourage you to
reconnect with your faith. third -- [ applause ] third, i would encourage you to heal family hurts. they get more personal as they go. don't you notice? heal family hurts. in the days ahead your relationship with your family will be more important to you than what your dip employee ma is today and that diploma is extremely important. but i have had many students, that as they went through high school and college, got more and more disconnected with their family. there was a broken relationship there and they thought you know what, i'm leaving, i'm heading out. it doesn't matter anyway because i'm moving out. so i'll just leave that broken relationship behind. what does it matter now? it's too much work to fix that family hurt. i will tell you, for the rest of your life, every birthday every thanksgiving, every christmas, every mother's day, every father's day, you will regret
that decision. my mom was a librarian. now, i don't know how smart your parents were, but my mom was a librarian. okay? a librarian knows everything and what she doesn't know, she knows where to find it. so i grew up with my mom being the smartest woman on the planet. but somewhere around 9th grade, she bumped into a wall or took a fall or something happened because she just started deteriorating and it just got worse and worse and worse as i went through high school. but about my sophomore year of college, she started gaining from my academic wisdom. and about my sophomore year of college, she started getting smarter again. she's back to genius level. now, i say that to you to say there is this path of independence that all of us go through. that's good. we have god's creation to say we're not always living in your
parents' basement. a amen? probably a bigger amen from up here. okay. when there's a broken relationship, i don't care where it came from and how it started but it ends when you actually reconnect, when you look each other in the eye and to say, can we start over again? heal the broken wounds. some of those can start today. you'll have time in the storm shelter later to be able to visit on these things. but you can start some of that conversation today. heal those broken wounds. many people that i talk to about a lot of things in what is going on in d.c., i spend a lot of time talking about the three d's, debt, defense and federal directives. those are things that we deal with. but broken families cannot be fixed by washington, d.c., and the biggest issues that we face as a nation are families that
are struggling to stay connected to each other and committed to each other. that is a decision that you will make in the days ahead and i will encourage us to turn our nation around by turning our families around. [ applause ] number four -- and i only have 14 of these. i'm kidding. i have two more and they are quick. number four is serve. a lot of things you will do to make a lot of money. this president wants you to be able to get out of here land a great job, represent the university well and be a great donor back to the university. okay. but you know as well as i do, at the end of life, the joy you will have will not be how much you made but who you served. keep that in perspective. you will do well. it's the nature of a free market economy. as you take care of your family you also take care of a nation and your neighbors. take care of your family.
go provide for them well. but remember to continue to serve. and last is this. don't this. don't forget your oklahoma roots and how great this nation really is. not everyone is here is from oklahoma. i get that. oklahoma state has folks from all over the country. but we welcome you to continue to carry the name of oklahoma with you because this phenomenal state and this great university, the heritage and tradition spreads around the country. take it with you. understand that we are americans. we do things a little bit different in america. we're passionate about things like invention. more inventions come out of the united states than any other place in the world. we invent. we find broken things and fix them. we work until things get done. we do not quit. we are americans. i get tired of people that come to me and complain about where we are as a nation. i typically smile and say why don't you get up off the couch and get to work because this
nation will be turned around not when we complain about it more but when we engage. i am fully aware that we have a bunch of stuff to work on as a nation, but that happens with each of us and each of you engaging and understanding we are americans. we fix things. so we get to work. couple years ago i had the privilege to visit with julia july ard, prime minister at that time of australia, you'd like her, she's a red head. very sharp lady. came and gave a speech to a joint session of congress and at the end of that speech she ended by saying i have to tell you about when i was a little girl in australia everyone got out of school the day the americans landed on the moon. now we don't think of that as
americans. we know americans and many in the generation remember well when america landed on the moon. all of australia got out of school as well. not many had televisions in australia, we all found someone with a television piled in their living room and sat there and watched the americans land on the moon, and she said i distinctly remember thinking americans can do anything. then she hesitated and said i still believe that's true. [ applause ] it was a reminder again of who we are and how the rest of the world sees us. i was in central america last september working on immigration issues, you may have heard a few immigration issues going on. i was in central america talking about factors in children coming to the united states. at one point one of the leaders stopped me and said you don't understand. you're the united states of
america. everyone wants to be you. that's who you are. don't lose track of that. you've been prepared and well equipped by this university. the nation needs a new generation of leaders. you're now it. welcome to real life. welcome to leadership. congratulations on being a graduate of one of the greatest universities in the world oklahoma state university. god bless you all. [ applause ] u.s. ambassador to saudi arabia delivered remarks at oklahoma state university commencement ceremony. he served as undersecretary of the u.s. army from 2009 to 2014. he says the challenges for this generation include violent extremism, climate change population growth, and religious
and cultural differences. >> good afternoon everyone. good afternoon to graduates of politics and agriculture. great to be with you. mr. president, thanks for the honor bestowed on me this morning and the honor of allowing me to address this class. students, i think we thanked a lot of people and i think we have missed one of the most important elements in your lives, they're all sitting around this arena. so i think you should give your folks, your families and friends a big hand for what they've done to get you here. in 1970 45 years ago, i graduated from college and
attended my commencement. in 2060, 45 years from now, some of you will be attending or giving a commencement speech somewhere. so how will the next 45 years shape and influence your message? how will the society you are a part of sitting before you. you will be the first generation to look back reflektively on most of the 21st century, rather than looking towards it. if there's one certainty in your life, it is that your next four decades will be different than the first two decades that have brought you here. we can speculate today that population growth will be a factor, environmental impacts, technological changes, and if today is any indication
climate. you will tackle many problems in the next four decades that are likely to include war crime, terrorism, poverty disease, and intolerance, to name a few. and these problems will be related to a variety of factors associated with developments in such areas as science and medicine and education, politics civil society, law, religion, i could go on. so let me go back and rewind the clock a little bit to an earlier generation that made it possible for me to graduate from college in 1970 and be with you here today. in his book, "the greatest generation" tom brokaw journalist author former nbc news anchor wrote about the generation that lived through the great depression of the 1930s. men and women who fought tyranny
and evil in world war ii and came home to rebuild a nation. some of you here today may have benefitted from the post 9/11 gi bill, but it was the original gi bill enacted in 1944 that gave a great boost to that post world war ii generation. as tom brokaw stated in his book, quote, they gave the world new science literature, art, industry, and economic strength unparalleled in the long curve of history. these men and women gave birth to my generation, the baby boomers. and we boomers have come to know how much we benefitted from the country we inherited that became the envy of the world. now my generation also experienced war. we fought the cold war, and the vietnam war, and witnessed and participated in the civil rights
movement. conflicts and events that sometimes created a divide between our generations. the values of my parents' generation were framed around personal responsibility, around duty to country honor faith. they were shaped in large part by the trials and tribulations that they endured and had to overcome. my generation lived through the fall of the berlin wall and the vietnam war, and all these things made us challenge the unquestioned patriotism of our parents' generation. civil rights and the war on poverty focused our commitment to ending segregation and reducing income inequality. one year before i graduated from college in 1970 the u.s. landed a man on the moon, an event that unleashed the innovative and competitive spirit of the
american people. the impact of which is still being felt today. the civil rights movement i talked about earlier offered an opportunity to redefine race and gender relations in america and today our country is far stronger because of the courage and sacrifice of those who fueled it. it was these issues and events that tested my generation. and like all college graduates entering into life's stage your generation will now be tested by the endless possibilities before you. as i sat through my commencement address back in 1970, at delphi university listening to senator marching rat j smith, republican senator from maine i wondered if i would be sent to fight in vietnam, a war i opposed with most of the class sitting around me that day. i ended up not being drafted and instead set on an academic and
government career, and little did i know that 28 years later i would begin nearly a decade of leadership in the army fighting wars in iraq and afghanistan, and working to put into effect the most sweeping policy changes since the truman administration's end desegregation of the force and in our case the end of the policy of don't ask don't tell with respect to gays in the military and to allow women to serve in combat rolls. when i graduated from college i could not imagine the vicious act of terrorism, the bombing of the murrah federal building in oklahoma city 20 years ago this year, and the subsequent attack on 9/11. i would not have predicted that in 2008 we would endure the worst global financial crisis since the great depression of the 1930s. and i certainly would not have
predicted 45 years of higher education and government service nor the president of the united states asking me to be the united states ambassador to saudi arabia, responsible for our relations with a country that's a great strategic and economic importance and at the center of one of the most complex, embattled regions in the world. i also would not have predicted i would set out from new york to work on a master's degree at oklahoma state university. back in those days, most of us in new york thought the rocky mountains were in pennsylvania, didn't know what to expect here. guess who was my commencement speaker in 1974 when i finished that master's degree? richard nixon, president richard nixon. we held that ceremony here at osu and lewis field, and it was a warm day. the president did a good job. he really talked about the
generational change that was about to happen. his long address that day was well received and of course as all of you know that was may of 1974. in august 1974, president nixon had to resign or resign from the presidency because of the watergate scandal. he concluded his speech that day by noting that in 26 years the graduating class of 1974 would usher in the 21st century. we all thought that was a huge deal. he closed the speech with some very interesting words to our post boomer generation. quote. on that new year you will look back on this day and then you will judge your generation. let me tell you what i think you will be able to say. yours was a generation that was there, that had the strength and stamina to see that america played a responsible role so that we did have peace in the
world for a generation. yours was a generation that helped america become self sufficient in energy that helped america to develop the food resources for ourselves and other nations so that the level as far as people's abilities for nutrition are concerned was raised not only for ourselves but for all people. yours was the generation during which great strides were made forward in terms of fighting the scourges of disease, wherever they existed throughout the world. and most of all that yours was a generation that asked questions, a generation not afraid of controversy, but a generation that when the chips were down was strong in the mind strong in the right, believed in what we were doing. i say to you when the year 2000 comes, i am confident that members of the class of 1974 oklahoma state university, will look back and say yes, we met the test, ours was the great american generation. end of quote. and you know i think he was
right about that. all the things he said then in 1974 have evidenced in today's society. so let me conclude by suggesting some issues you may want to consider for your commencement address in 2060. if you're asked today what worries you the most, many may answer the threat of terrorism and fear of violent extremism. today the middle east is at the core of that battle between the majority that want peace and security and prosperity and a minority that wants tyranny and domination. great challenges face us in the mideast, bringing in a comprehensive, enduring peace to israel, the palestinians, and their neighbors, concluding an agreement with iran to end their pursuit of nuclear weapons negotiating a political solution to the conflict in yemen, dealing with the threat of nonstate actors like isil and al qaeda in iraq and syria. how we address these challenges
today will greatly effect your generation tomorrow. the agreements we sign the solution we put in place you will inherit. you will own them. how will they effect the way the world sees america? how will they effect your relationship with the global community? if you believe like i believe that the united states is stronger as an engaged constructive partner, how you strengthen connections with people around the world and breakdown barriers to improve the world around you will determine what you will really say in the year 2060. think about it this way. when you stand at this podium in 2060, 45 years from today, the world will be a very different place and your advice to graduates will likely be unpredictable by what's true today. the world you're inheriting today is smaller, more populated, more integrated, far
more impatient for instant gratification than the world my generation inherited. when you deliver that commencement address in 2060, what will you say about the ethics of genetics and robotics? how will you address the significant challenges posed by religion, cultural differences population growth, and threats of global health. will you have visited mars by then? how will you make yourself relevant when technology makes your job obsolete? you will live longer than me because of greater access to advanced medical treatments. so what will you do in the next 20 to 30 years of productive life? how will changes in climate effect availability of food and water? you will be living those fears alongside more than 9 billion people who will populate the world by the time you give that commencement address. it is also predicted by 2043 no
ethnic group will constitute majority of population making the united states a truly plural nation. will these population demographics create stress and tension in society or will a more diverse population foster greater innovation and productivity. will the internet continue. certainly will it continue as it is today. and what will be the impact to society as a result of it. what will the university look like in 2060? will professors still stand in front of a classroom and deliver lectures or will learning be all virtual. more than any other generation before you you will need to address inevitable consequences of globalization protectism, nationalism, aggression, and other actions that divide and collide. in the next four decades of this century, you will share all these issues with all the people of the world.
i urge you to think of the words from president obama in a speech in cairo in 2009. this is what he said quote. recognizing our common humanity is only the beginning of our task. words alone cannot meet the needs of our people. these needs will be met only if we act boldly in the years ahead, and if we understand that the challenges we face are shared. and our failure to meet them will hurt us all for we have learned from recent experience when a financial system weakens in one country prosperity is hurt everywhere. when a new flu infects one human being, all are at risk. when one nation pursues a nuclear weapon, the risk of nuclear attack rises for all nations. when violent extremists operate in one stretch of mountains, people are endangered across an
ocean. when innocents in bosnia and darfur are slaughtered that's a stain on our collective conscience. that is what is meant to share this world in the 21st century. that is the responsibility you have to one another as human beings, end of quote. so let me say to you, graduates of osu, i have great confidence that you will act boldly, that you are more capable than any other generation before you to lead us into the future and share the world in the 21st century. you, your children and your grandchildren will understand better than all of us that came before you the challenges that you will share with the rest of the world. i tell my six grandchildren ages 7 to 11, that they will witness and participate in a new era of invention entrepreneurship and innovation that will change the course of history. as you ponder these questions i posed earlier, think about the
tools you will need to sustain our america with its greatness and don't be afraid to use them to engage and challenge complacency and do not be afraid to change. it is essential for survival. so congratulations to all of you, the class of 2015, and when you get home thank your grandparents and great grandparents, that great generation that made it possible for me to be here, for you to be here, and made it possible for future generations to be here as well. thank them for what they did for us. god bless all of you congratulations. god bless the united states of america. [ applause ] ceo of amtrak and the safety board will testify regarding the derailment in philadelphia last month. there were 8 fatalities and 200 injuries as a result of that
crash. live coverage here on cspan3 gets under way about 10:00 a.m. eastern. then in the afternoon at 2:00 eastern, a hearing on the status of the takata air bag recall and safety issues. a house subcommittee will ask the takata vice president kevin kennedy and other witnesses how long it will take to fix vehicles and findings of air bag inflater testing in the last six months. that's also on cspan3. veterans affair secretary robert mcdonald giving the commencement address at university of utah. secretary mcdonald is a graduate of the university earning an mba there in 1978. before leading the veteran's affairs, he was ceo of proctor and gamble.
>> thank you. thanks to president pershing for that kind introduction, and thank you, dave for your service to our country. members of the board and trustees and president pershing, thank you for inviting me this evening. let me begin first and foremost by congratulating the graduates. you've labored long and hard you've done excellent work, and we're all here today, tonight to honor you, and wish you the very best as you continue your life's journey. [ applause ] >> equally important are your faculty, your family, your friends this evening. they supported you encouraged you, they're a large part of the reason you're here now. they often sacrificed in ways you never knew, and to give you
opportunities you wouldn't otherwise have. so graduates decide tonight to make a similar difference in the life of someone else. i applaud the university's new tradition, the red, white tassels and cords for veterans. to all veterans graduating to all veterans graduating tonight congratulations and thank you for your service to our country. thank you for volunteering to serve, thank you for you and your family's sacrifice, and i am deeply honored to be your secretary. [ applause ] i gladly accepted this opportunity not only because of the respective for president pershing, but also for my love
of university of utah. it has been nearly four decades since the university granted me an mba. i was a young man then. to you ready to graduate. it may seem like time passed slowly to get to this point. well, hang on. things are about to start moving at light speed. so first take away don't waste a moment. live every day with a clear purpose. fast forward with me for just a moment. let's say you're at your life's end, maybe here in a hospital in salt lake city. you're surrounded by people you love and people who love you. and those people ask you did you accomplish your purpose in life? it would be a sad moment if your response was well i don't know.
i never decided what my purpose would be. purpose is first and most important. purpose is first and most important. my life has had a couldn't knew the of purpose. for me it is always about improving the lives of others. that's why i became a boy scout. it is why i choose to become a west point cadet, why i became an officer in the united states army. why i joined the proctor and gamble company to serve the world's consumers. that's why when president obama asked me to serve at secretary of the department of veteran's affairs. my whole life has been leading to this privilege of serving veterans. the power of institutions like university of utah department of veteran's affairs is that they help us discover and pursue
our purpose. they help us begin to bring meaning to our lives and to our work. they bring people together who share a sense of purpose and they provide an opportunity to be part of something greater than ourselves. the core of utah's mission is to serve, to serve the people of utah and the world through discovery, creation, and application of knowledge. veteran's affairs mission is derived from president lincoln's charge in his second inaugural address as the bloody civil war was drawing to a close, lincoln directed us to serve and care for those who have borne the battle and for their families. it is the best most inspiring mission i know of. utah's mission and va's mission reflect core beliefs that call
on us to make a difference in the world. but how do we make a difference how do we make a difference in the world. sounds like an intimidating proposition and i can't tell you how. there's no formula, no road map, there's no smart phone application. there's no sure fire way steps to follow. but there is a north star to guide you and that north star is a sense of purpose, a commitment to make a difference with your life in the lives of others. that's the sole message i would like to leave you with tonight. many of you probably heard of lauren eisely's story of the star fish. let me repeat it. a young man was walking a deserted beach before dawn. in the distance he saw a frail old man. as he approached that frail old
man he saw him picking up a stranded star fish, and throwing them back into the sea. the young man gazed in wonder as the old man again and again bent over, picked up a star fish, and threw it from the sand to the water. the young man finally asked old man, why do you spend so much energy doing what seems to be a waste of time. the old man explained that the stranded star fish would die if it was left in the morning sun. the young man replied but there must be thousands of beaches and millions of star fish. how can you possibly make any difference. the old man looked at the small star fish in his hand as he threw it to the safety of the water, he said it makes a difference to just this one. in 1966, robert kennedy told the star fish story but he told it
in a different way. he said each time a person stands up for an ideal or acts to improve a lot of others or strikes out against injustice, he or she sends forth a tiny ripple of hope. these ripples crossing each other forming a million centers of energy and daring. they build a current that can sweep down the walls of oppression and resistance. one person can't do much. well gandhi did it in india martin luther king did it in the united states, nelson mandela did it in south africa. but we don't need to be a gandhi or a martin luther king or a nelson mandela to make the difference in the life of just one person. let me tell you about one of the best days of my life. it wasn't when i graduated from
west point. it wasn't when i graduated from university of utah. it wasn't when i was given the opportunity to serve as chairman and ceo of the proctor and gamble company or the secretary of veteran's affairs. one of the best days of my life was when i saw a paralyzed veteran wounded in combat walk. get up from their wheelchair as if they had been able to do it for 40 years and walk. some might call it a miracle and in a sense it was miraculous, but not in the way you might think. his name was billy. and he could walk because some good people trained him how to use a device we call the ex-oh skeleton. it wasn't so much about getting someone to walk. that is important. but it is important because of
what happens when you don't walk. when you don't walk, your muscles atrophy your bones become brittle and your gastrointestinal system stops working the way it should. so an important aspect is getting the human body to function properly again. but to billy, the most important thing was this he could look you in the eye again. it was that simple. it was about being able to look another person in the eye. it was about his sense of human dignity. the miracle wasn't billy standing, the miracle was his sense of purpose, that guiding light that drove some good people to make a profound difference in the life of just one person. and others will follow. tonight is a great moment to dedicate or rededicate ourselves to this quest, finding our purpose, making a difference in
the life of just one person. don't wait for that one big decision. don't wait for that one big opportunity. start right now. if you get in the habit, the rest will follow. if you're worried about no longer being a student after this evening don't. be a student every single day of your life, life has a great deal to teach you and to teach us all. thank you very much. god bless you and congratulations. [ applause ] live coverage of the u.s. house on cspan and the senate on cspan2 here on cspan3 we complement that coverage by showing you the relevant hearings and public affairs events. on weekends, cspan3