First Lady Tells Grads to Keep Giving

May 16, 2010 1:58pm

ABC News’ Mallory Thompson reports:


“Pomp and Circumstance” echoed down the National Mall today as thousands gathered for George Washington University’s commencement.  This year, graduates welcomed a special keynote speaker – First Lady Michelle Obama.


Mrs. Obama agreed to be the University’s commencement speaker – with a catch.  Students had to complete 100,000 hours of community service in return.  Last month, the University announced they had reached the goal, and as of today, they had completed more than 163,000 hours.

“If I had known you’d complete more than 3,300 hours on the first day of the challenge, I probably would have picked a higher number,” Mrs. Obama joked.


Framed by academic department flags and the U.S. Capitol as a backdrop, the First Lady encouraged graduates to continue her community service challenge.  “Keep going, keep giving, keep engaging,” she said.


In addition to continuing serving in their communities, she encouraged graduates to look for global opportunities.  “When you serve others abroad, you’re serving our country too.  You’re showing the world the true face of America,” she said.


George Washington University President Steven Knapp presented Mrs. Obama with an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree.  She will also speak to graduates at Anacostia Senior High in Washington D.C. next month.


FLOTUS Fashion Watch:  Michelle Obama was wearing one of GW’s ceremonial robes – navy blue with black and gold adornments – and a sky blue academic hood after receiving her honorary degree.

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