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Sholnn Freeman
Communications Specialist
President Clinton Charges Graduates to be Agents of Change and to "Do What Makes You Happy"

WASHINGTON (May 11, 2013) –President Bill Clinton told more than 2,600 Howard University graduates  that they should confront adversity with resilience and use their talents to transform the world. Watch Commencement Address (VIDEO)

Clinton delivered the 145th Commencement address at Howard University on Saturday, May 11.He stressed that students should recognize the growing interdependence between communities in different parts of world.

“It turns out there is an economic and social imperative that compels those of us who understand it to work together,” he said. “Creating cooperation works better than constant conflict and we forget that at our peril. You can’t share the future unless you share the responsibility for building it.”

During the ceremony, Howard bestowed 2,687 degrees, including 1,030 graduate, professional and certificate degrees and 1,675 degrees at the undergraduate level. In addition, Howard conferred 96 doctoral degrees. Howard produces more on campus doctoral degrees than any institution in the country.

Clinton received an honorary Doctorate of Laws degree in recognition of his service as president from 1993 to 2001 and his global philanthropic work through the William J. Clinton Foundation.

He has led the Health Access Initiative to fight the global HIV/AIDS pandemic and his prominent role in improving conditions in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake and in Indonesia after the 2004 tsunami.

Howard also granted honorary doctorate degrees to Patricia McGuire, president of Trinity Washington University; Marie C. Johns, deputy administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration and former president of Verizon Washington; entrepreneur and philanthropist Sheila C. Johnson, who also owns three professional sports franchises; and the late Jack F. Kemp, who was a Republican congressman, cabinet secretary and a member of Howard’s Board of Trustees.

The 2013 graduating class brought the total of Howard graduates over the past 14 decades to more than 120,000 students. The class represented 47 of the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Graduates represented 32 countries, including Nigeria, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Canada, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, the Bahamas, Bermuda, India, Japan, Kenya, St. Lucia and Saudi Arabia.

The rebroadcast of the 145th Commencement Convocation will air on WHUT-TV at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 12.

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