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tv   2012 Christopher...  CSPAN  May 26, 2012 10:20pm-10:40pm EDT

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side. i should know, i was a democrat before i was a republican, before i became independent. i never changed my principles. i have enormous respect for your former president and my friend, erskine bowles. he has always put pragmatism ahead of partisanship, and i hope all of you will do exactly that. he does deserve a round of applause. [applause] think for yourself. decide for yourself, even if it is not popular or runs counter to the party line. if everyone in washington did that, our country would be a whole lot better off. the seventh and final piece of advice that i have is, in the game of life, when the final buzzer sounds, the only stat you carry with you is the number of assistance you may. so help other people put some points on the board.
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don't be slow to dish the rough. there's nothing more rewarding than making a difference in the lives of others. i have learned that first hand, both through philanthropy and public service. give what you can, your time, your talents, your money. and i promise, you will never regret it. i know you have remembered every single word of that, but just in case, i thought i would provide a summary of the seven, in no particular order. teamwork is everything. assist others. risks are necessary. the first three letters of those words are t-a-r. i wonder where this is going. hustle always. elbows occasionally have to be used. education is a lifelong journey. love what you do. but that list together, it
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spells tarheels. before you receive your diploma and leave, i have just one more piece of wisdom to share. when the hard times come in your life, and they will, when the doubts creep in about whether god is looking out for you, just remember that not only did you see an n.c.a.a. basketball championship during your time here, but in your senior year, two across from the first round to a 15th seed. so you know there is a got up there in that carolina blue sky. congratulations, and good luck. >> we recently attended the commencement for the school of
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communication at american university in washington. we spoke with some of the graduates after the ceremony. tell us your name and your home town. >> and cristina and i don't really have a home town. i grew up all around the world. i got my degree in public communications. >> what did you think of the commencement speeches at the ceremony today? >> i thought they were really good. no one is perfect. that stuck with me. i know i can make mistakes until i get to where i want to go. i just have to keep on trying. >> what are your plans now that you graduated? >> i will be taking a class for the summer and looking out for jobs. i would like working for the government, doing communications for them. we will see what happens. >> do you have any student loans
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that you are responsible for? >> thankfully, i don't. >> my name is mike and i am from pennsylvania. >> what did you think of today's commencement? >> it is weird to come here for years ago and all the sudden see how fast things go by, and see the kids you met at orientation, walking next year at graduation. really special experience. >> what about today's speeches? >> i thought there were great. i have a lot of brothers and sisters and i have been to a lot of commencements. i thought everyone did a good job of being original and conveying some interesting points. >> i got a bachelor's degree in journalism. >> what are your plans after graduation? >> i have a job and i hope to pursue journalism and become a sports writer sunday. >> what is the job? >> a consulting firm at the department of justice.
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>> held out loans? >> i parents are really great and they took care of college for me, so i don't have to worry too much about that. >> coming up next, virginia governor bob mcdonnell. he was this your speaker at christopher newport university. this is a liberal arts schools 50th anniversary. more than 1000 graduates listened to his keynote in newport news. his remarks or about 20 minutes. [applause] >> good morning. thank you so much for that very warm welcome. thank you for being in charge of the diplomas and putting me in charge of the weather. i appreciate that very much. un rosemary have done a remarkable job here, along with the board and the faculty and staff, to create an incredible,
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world-class university where you put the students first. and i thank you for that vision. i want to congratulate all of the families, the parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, children, all who are here today with us. this great graduating class of 2012, i want to say go, panthers. while we are saluting the parent, i might as well set thank you to all the mothers that are here with us. we owe you a great debt of gratitude for raising these great young children that are here today. use didn't, why you are applauding, you may be graduating with a degree, but i warn you, you better still listen to your mother. she has great advice. to all you parents,
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congratulations, you get a pay raise today. i felt it yester day, as my daughter walked across the stage at virginia tech. your vision to transform christopher newport university into world-class liberal arts university, focused on smaller classrooms and individualized attention from professors at these world-class facilities we see here today is now becoming a reality. as we celebrate the 50 years of christopher newport university with this very first commencement here on the great lawn, i think we can all personally witnessed the transportation that has taken place during your 16 years as president of this university. i want to say to all of you that this is the best and brightest and best looking glass ever in the history of the university.
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i understand there are some of you that have actually gotten a 4.0. when i was at notre dame, i actually got a 4.0 myself one year. i got a 2.0 the first semester and that 2.0 the second semester. it was not that hard. i had a great time that year. i want to commend all of you for your academic success here. i know that this speech is the last obstacle between you and your degrees. mercifully, we learn from the gettysburg address, which was five minutes, that good speeches don't have to be that long. i promise you that mine will not be that much longer. i do want to tell you that i have a few simple truths of want to offer to you today that i hope you may remember for your consideration as you go out into an increasingly global but also an increasingly complex world.
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it has been 36 years since i walked out a alma mater, but the same general rules of life that have led to happen is and fulfillment, from the invention of the gutenberg press until today, are still pretty much the same, even though this speech today can be listened to on an ipad in beijing. the world has changed, but the rules of success have largely stayed the same. here are other rules. number one, life is incredibly precious, and it passes by far too quickly. during your time here, use all of your unique, god-given talents to serve one another, as that will be the true measure by which your life will be judged. all the golden rule. number two, this is a great steak and a great nation made up of very good people who work daily to get remarkable things
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done bid or future success depends directly on your personal commitment and involvement to keep it that way. number three, if you work hard and you dream big, if you are honest and pursue our committee, you can still be anything you want to be in the united states of america, the greatest country on earth. [applause] let me now explode those rules in some detail. of this precious, serve one another. last year, i went to the funeral of a virginia tech police officer, killed in the line of duty. you may have heard his story. i visited with his wife and five children, his brothers and sisters and parents. they were devastated. but even in those darkest hours, they knew that he gave his life
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doing what he loved doing, and that was to serve students at virginia tech. it was a military veteran who served in iraq, and he died making a routine traffic stop on campus at virginia tech. his brother asked me to read something at the memorial service for derrek. he said derrek lived and gave his life to serve others who were in need. i would say to you, we need more derrek crouse's in virginia. keith calhoun is another remarkable american. he served in iraq with the 101st airborne division. while on patrol, he was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and lost both of his legs below the knee. i greeted him at the governor's
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mansion a couple of years ago and he told me about his months of recovery and what he thought would be the prospect of life in a wheelchair. but he chose a different path. he taught himself how to mono- ski. through sheer willpower, he got out of that wheelchair every day and competed in multiple sports events, using prosthetic legs, and eventually won numerous medals in track events. that is perseverance. at the governor's mansion he told me this. he said was proud to go to iraq and i gave my best for my country. that is what is expected out of americans. amazing. [applause] class of 2012, my point here is that derrek and keith use their
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precious time and their great skills and their perseverance to do good on this earth, to serve their fellow citizens. right now, all across virginia, your fellow virginians are doing a remarkable things like that every day, giving their best for their fellow man. hundreds of people volunteer at a local food banks, like many of you students have volunteered around newport news. thousands of police officers patrol neighborhoods protecting others. others are involved in their church or synagogue or mosque. many join the military. some teach. many served in state or local or federal governments. my point is, many are called to service and do it well. i believe that serving others is truly the highest calling one can have in one's life. descriptors record that jesus told his disciples that the greatest among them was the
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servant of all. i say to you, class of 2012, be great, serve others. when you give generously, you will receive far more in return. it has been said that it is the countless acts of service and sacrifice that is the hallmark of american greatness, and i agree with that. number two, this is a great nation, but you need to get involved. there is an old adage that says america is great because america is good. if she ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great bit class of 2012, you graduate now into the most free, most prosperous, most just, most vibrant nation on earth with the greatest gp and the most entrepreneurial minds and all of the planet.
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something we should celebrate every day as americans. i can tell you in the 236 years since the second governor of virginia, thomas jefferson, wrote the declaration of independence, we have only been a strong and asian as the measure by which our people have been involved in and care about this nation. edmund burke said it this way. all that it takes for evil to triumph is for good men or women to do nothing. in other words, democracy is not a spectator sport. the great country you have today will only be that way with your direct bearing and involvement. in 2012, my daughter was serving as a platoon leader in iran. in that year, 70% of the voters in iraq, after 25 years of tyranny, came to the polls to
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vote, and had to worry about snipers and oppression. yet in that same year i was running for attorney general, only 45% of the people in virginia cared enough to come out and vote for their governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general. i tell you, that is not acceptable. that is not a live and vibrant democracy. many people your age today are serving in korea and germany and afghanistan and iraq, and places around the country. so i tell you, stand up for them. honor their commitment by standing up for the american ideals. learn, sir, vote. make a difference. -- learned, served, vote. make a difference. [applause] while you are standing up for those ideals, and do it
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passionately, but civilly. you can turn on tomorrow's news on any station and you will see the talking heads, talking about the ideas of the day, often talking over or around one another. it is no wonder that young people can get turned off to politics. but i don't think it has to be that way. whether you are republican or democrat, believe passionately in what you believe in, but do it in a way that honors the traditions of our nation. the fact is while it does not get much coverage, there are great people everyday that working government and business and education and the other institutions of america that are quietly getting important and big things accomplished. no political party has a monopoly on virtue or
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patriotism. we all care deeply about america. so i say to you, decide what you believe then, and then go make a difference, and work for our country. the future of america does depend on you getting involved. finally, number three. work hard, dream big. america is an amazing land of opportunities, not guarantees. that is the secret of our success for these couple of centuries. think of your hat -- think of your founders. captain christopher newport. the commander of the entire expedition. 405 years ago this monday, he landed just down the road in jamestown virginia, giving birth to the great state of virginia and a great country of the united states of america. for him, there were no guarantees crossing that ocean.
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there was only an opportunity that king james gave him to found this new world. many of you as you walk across the stage will have already found those opportunities. many of you and still be searching. but let me tell you the words of francis bacon. a wise man or woman will make more opportunities and he finds. it is true. when i was in your seat 36 years ago, all i knew was i was going into the army. i had no idea that an average middle-class kid from fairfax county would grow up to have the same job thomas jefferson had, and patrick henry, the first two governors of virginia. it is a great country, isn't it? it doesn't matter whether your first job as president of the first job as president of the company


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