CORVALLIS, Ore. – First Lady Michelle Obama made a special stop in Oregon Sunday, to deliver the commencement address at Oregon State University.
Obama also received an honorary doctorate degree, recognizing her work to better childhood nutrition and build healthy communities.
About 33,000 people filled the seats at Reser Stadium, to see candidates receive their diplomas and to hear Obama speak.
“I am so proud to receive this honorary degree from this phenomenal university. And I am thrilled to be here today to celebrate the Oregon State University class of 2012— Go Beavs!” said the First Lady, to a roar of approval.
Michelle Obama acknowledged that her brother, OSU Men’s Basketball Coach Craig Robinson, helped get her to come to Corvallis.
“Last fall Craig said if I didn’t come and speak at this year’s commencement he was gonna tell mom on me. And because our mom now lives with me—that threat still carries some weight,” Obama quipped.
Turning serious, the First Lady encouraged graduates to not leave unfinished business in their lives, especially in personal relationships. She described how important it was for her to stay close with her father, who died after a long battle with multiple sclerosis, when she was in her mid-20’s.
“My mom would always reassure us that he was so proud of us--so proud to be our father--that he was the luckiest guy to walk the earth. All of that gave me a sense of peace, a sense that I had no unfinished business with my dad,” said the First Lady.
Obama also told the crowd of graduates to look for success within, based on their ideals, and not someone else’s expectations.
“Success isn’t about what your life looks like to others, it’s about how it feels to you.”
The First Lady also gave commencement addresses this year at Virginia Tech, and North Carolina A & T State University.