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tv   New York University Commencement Address  CSPAN  June 1, 2014 12:35am-12:46am EDT

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excitement on this campus. i saw the proud young black men who walked this campus. i was impressed at the sight and sound of several hundred black men singing in unison about pledging their life to this institution and ties more brotherly. i got a look at the ladies across the street. though i had never been here before in my life, something about this place was calling me. by the time i arrived here in 1975, however, i was ill in a fog. i still had not caught fire. filling week, i recall out an index card for some basic personal information. i got to the line that asked major and did not even know what to put down. i did not even know what it was understood in studying here. i looked at my father, who said, for lack of an obvious choice,
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just put down political science. i spent freshman year here pretty much as i spent my high school years, asleep academically. my gpa my first year was 1.8. 1.8, both semesters. but something was stirring inside. i listened to the sermons and this beaches. on tuesdaysembly and chapel on thursdays. i realized i was in a special place, a kingdom. i became proud of who i was and what i was about to become. but for those of us who are freshmen here in 1975, something was missing. did the energy, the ambition and the talent was here, but the great struggles of the civil rights movement, the marches, the siddons, the freedom rides, were largely over. quite honestly rebels
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without a cause. we look for anything about which to protest or march. eagerly accepted marty's invitations to dr. kings plan marches. the more frequent objects of our protest was food. the food in the 1970's was terrible. to those graduating today, i assure you it was worse then. we were served in green trays with five compartments in them the size of tb dinners, no seconds. by 9:00 every evening, i was hungry again and had to go to church's chicken. by our senior year, dr. glasser was glad to see the class of 1979 leave his school, but not without one more fight. dr. laster had invited a civil
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rights leader of national stature to be our commencement beaker. we told him his choice was not acceptable. to us, the speaker was too mainstream, and i now realize i am out on a limb with john. so in 1979, our baccalaureate was louis farrakhan, and our commencement speaker was the leader of the revolutionary movement in zimbabwe. me, the four years was transformational. i told you my freshman year gpa was 1.8. by sophomore year, something had awakened within me. i found who i was here. i became comfortable in my own skin and proud of my own skin color. in the fall some master of my sophomore year, sitting in room 217 of what was
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then thurman hall, now llc, and realizing there was nothing left for me to do but study. i wanted to go to law school and be prepared to answer a call to service. my gpa went from 1.8 23 point zero. spring semester sophomore year, 3.5. year fourter, junior point zero. spring semester junior year, 4.0. year, fourer senior point zero. spring semester senior year, 4.0. i left morehouse on fire and went to columbia law school and received a job offer from almost every wall street firm i interviewed with. i am proud of my private sector achievements. i am proud to have been the first african-american partner one of the most profitable law firms in the united states. i am proud to be a fellow in the prestigious american college of
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trial lawyers. but what i learned on this that something even more is expected of a morehouse man. this is why on november 22, 2006, when another black man with an unusual first name called me to ask for my support for his longshot presidential campaign, i knew how to answer that call. with the education i received here, and education that cannot be obtained anywhere in the ivy leagues, i knew i was being asked to participate in history. dr. mayes taught all of us we only have a moment, but there is a paternity in it. so i recognized on november 22 eternity in it.r so i recognized that i had a momentous choice. decisive, important, vital, big,
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crucial, historic, earth shattering, all the things expected of a morehouse man. this is why on november 22, 2000 six, despite the long odds associated with his candidacy, i told senator obama, barack, if you run, i am with you. so i stand before you as a , who by and d student virtue of the education and inspiration i received at this place is today a member of president barack obama's cabinet , the head of a government agency of 240,000 people, and the guardian of this nation's homeland security. [applause] today, you are hereby crowned a ce, anointedk prin
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with the title morehouse man, propelled by the pride of your family, entrusted with the legacy of the great morehouse men who precede you and saddled with a load of expectations. being a morehouse man means more than acquiring a good job am a good manners, and a good suit. ,hile others fear the darkness you must light the candle. wallow in bigotry, intolerance or homophobia, you must provide enlightenment. when others are content to deliver courage by proxy, you must step to the front of the line. a our society continues to need the power of your leadership and the power of your example. eachthe last four years, time you sang dear old morehouse, you pledge dear life to this institution and its ideals and all things that you to lead ar it is
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nonviolent social movement, help president,ecome served in his cabinet, serving as military, preach the word of god, teach for america, teach sunday school, serve as an addiction advisor, serve as your brothers keeper, one more thing. you leave morehouse today, but you do not leave it behind. today is your last day morehouse, but it is your first day you can start to give back. the future of the school depends on its alumni. i know i speak for every alumnus at this event when i say we look forward to seeing your names next to ours on the list of alumni donors. large or small, whatever you are .apable of doing to those who become morehouse man, much is required. thank you. [applause]
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] let's give the secretary a wonderful hand for that speech. >> the chair of the federal reserve, janet yellen, paid tribute to her predecessor, ben bernanke, during her commencement address at new york university. she talked about his courageous actions during the 2000 eight financial crisis. she is the first woman to lead the fed and its 100 year history. she was awarded an honorary doctorate from nyu prior to her remarks. this is about 10 minutes. thank you, president sexton. on behalf of the honorees, let [applause]
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and congratulations from all of us to you, the class of 2014, and to your families, especially your parents. this is a special day to celebrate your achievements and to look forward to your lives ahead. your nyu education has not only provided you with a foundation of knowledge; it has also, i hope, instilled in you a love of knowledge and an enduring curiosity.

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