tv Commencement Speeches Gov. Gretchen Whitmer University of Michigan CSPAN May 28, 2019 6:06am-6:20am EDT
on tuesday, discussion on a rack the escalating tensions in the middle east hosted by the hudson institute. see it live at 12:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, online at c-span.org or listen free on the c-span radio app. we now return to our series of commencement speeches with michigan governor gretchen whitmer, who spoke to the michigan university class, telling the graduating class to fight and indifference. governor whitmer is a 1993 graduate of michigan university. of michigan state university. -- she is a 1993 graduate of michigan university. witmer: hello, you beautiful wolverines.
deans, faculty, staff, friends, family, and most importantly, the amazing class of 2019. congratulations. [applause] i am truly honored to celebrate with you today. i have been a spartan since my dad took me to see magic johnson. i can amid tom brady and jared dieter round out the top three. aboutis a lot to admire the university of michigan. your stellar reputation and surprisingly chic football helmets. your exceptional students from michigan and all over the world. and your fight song. a masterpiece of verbal economy.
one of the most durable i have ever encountered. four years ago, he or i leaving your friends and family in the comfort of your home to embark on a journey that led you to write here, right now. i am also headed to an harbor to teach. not entirely sure what to expect. but when i arrive, something amazing happened. i came to this beautiful campus and here, i experienced my own version. i got to engage with students, both undergraduate and graduate, who were so thoughtful and smart. students who were passionate and eager to learn and full of big ideas. -- class at >> charlie's. [laughter]
students who challenged me in ways i had not been challenged in some time. with my honorary degree, i am also a wolverine and proud of it. [applause] i do not say this often. but go blue. [applause] my roots in: michigan are deep. i was born here. my parents were raised here. my grandmother lived in the same house in pontiac for nearly 60 years. her turquoise carpet went in and out of fashion at least three times in her tenure. but it was spotless just as she liked it. was born iniott 1913 in a modest farm in ohio. she lived to be 100 years old. strong andrt and
funny, a natural educator and amazing gardener, and a fashion rebel who wore white jeans year-round. she used to tell people she kept her figure until 85. then it went to hell. she drove until she was 98. her biggest fault was that she was an ohio state graduate. i knew you were too classy to boom i grandmother. she thought the world changed more in her century than she had in any other in history. i think she may have been right. even if she was not, it is impolite to argue with your 100 euros grandmother. i grandmother had three pieces of advice that stuck with me. work hard. don't get married until you're
28, and never part your hair in the middle. [applause] gov. whitmer: i am not sure that -- what the last one was all about. then got it back again. korea, vietnam, iraq, afghanistan, and iraq again. one president was assassinated, one resigned in scandal. one was impeached and for the first time, an african-american man held the office. [applause] gov. whitmer: there was a great recession and a great and the american financial system teetered on the brink of collapse. shuttles exploded. mccarthyism, desegregation, watergate, the civil rights act. school shooting, obamacare.
are just the historical events. think about advances in technology and science and travel. nuclear power, radio, airplanes, television, antibiotics. the internet, cell phones, and nearest and dearest to us in michigan, the automobile. changeld has undergone and each successive decade continues to accelerate, which might be scary for some. if they did not realize something about you, you are the best education -- i am sorry. you are the best educated .eneration ever this year, the year you have earned your diploma, yours is forecasted to become the largest generation in the united states. you,means you come all of are poised to shape the future of this nation in the world -- and the world. you are now on the driver's
seat. is where do you want to go. the current generation has done better than the last. typically, the only variable used for this measurement is money. we know that money alone cannot guarantee happiness. it will not mend a broken heart. not prevent tragedy. it cannot conjure joy. the instinct to equate it with well-being persists. studies comparing generations are beginning to conclude that yours might be the first to not do better than your parents. if change in our society is only accelerating, why would we continue to use the same old metric to measure how we are doing. why are we measuring success with bank statements? i do not think it makes much sense. i believe your generation will do better simply by doing good.
over the course of my lifetime and my career, i have seen my systems breakdown. our dialogues turn into monologues. technology amplifying the voices of those willing to embrace extremes and vilify those who vilify them. we award people who sow chaos and distrust, who tell us we can have everything and pay for nothing. who glorify agreed and criminalize poverty. prettyow, we're dysfunctional we are still a maybe these are just awkward teenage years. 2019 and you just got your license. where do you want to go? i know i am expecting a lot out of you. great you that expectations beget great results. i washed my high school daughters and i know, they're occupied with far more serious
thoughts than my generation was forced to reckon with at that age. but there is passion and activism encourage and even wisdom that go with it. champions in the 12-year-old who started filling potholes because his mom's carver hurray bills. i watched the students at a high school motivated new generation to solve problems made worse by years of inaction. to participate in our democracy at a much younger age, to grab megaphones and amplify positive messages, to brilliantly use technology for their cause. i believe you, your generation, and generations that follow will be the engine that drives course correction for our country and the world. it will take hard work. so think about it.
where do you want to go? i'm not just talking about politics. i'm talking about life. though we all come from different backgrounds with different opportunities and views of the world, we all have value. dignity and respect and we all have a stake in our shared future. the best chance to meet the challenges we face is to stop anding and start listening fixing infrastructure isn't just about roads, but about fairness and opportunity. worldw we can improve the to fight injustice, intolerance, and indifference, but not lonely fight each other. let me repeat that. fight injustice. fight intolerance. fight indifference. is not always easy. there will be times when you need a fight song to lift your spirits. was -- thatthat
selected the top college fights on of all time to one that plays on a loop in your head incessantly. yes. hail to the victors. today,you leave here looking toward the future, take a moment to reflect on your time here. the friendships you have made, the papers you have written, the lectures that moved you, and even the ones you dozed through. this is a magical time in your life. take a moment before blazing in appreciate your professors and thank your parents and those who supported you along the way. from here out, you'll meet wolverines all over the world. and while youthem may not agree on everything, that thread binds you. i encourage you to wear your
block m on your sleeve long after you leave here, to remind yourself and everyone you meet michael over in when you see them and see the good in them. if you more pieces of advice. i would like to offer as you prepare for the next leg of your journey, like my grandma said, work hard. make a plan. part your hair however you like. if you do good, you will do better than the generation that came before. brilliant019, you wolverines, i will go back to fixing the dam role -- roads. -- the damn roads. [applause] gov. whitmer: but now is up to you to buckle your seatbelts and decide where you want to go. we will all be happy unlike my other times here at the big house.
because we are all wolverines and i congratulate you. congratulations and go blue. >> watch commencement speeches all week on c-span. tonight, a missouri republican senator at the king hall in new york city. lauren underwood speaks in oakland, california. attorney -- delivers remarks at boston university law school. 2009ll look back to may comedian ellen to generous speaking at tulane university -- ellen the generous -- ellen degeneres, speaking at tulane university. announcer: four years after serving his second term as president, ronald reagan gave the commencement address at the
citadel, a military college in charleston, south carolina. he outlined his ideas on the nature of character and what it takes to make good decisions as a leader. decisions as leader. [cheers and applause] [captions performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national 2019]satellite corp. pres. reagan: thank you. thank you. you, general watts, faculty,shed guests, families and friends of the citadel class of 1993. thank you for that gracious welcome. i'm delighted to be here on this glorious day of hope and om