Skip Nav

Michelle Obama City College of New York Commencement Speech

You'll Be in Awe of Michelle Obama's Last Commencement Speech as First Lady

Much like college seniors, First Lady Michelle Obama is in a reflective mood. In her final commencement speech as FLOTUS, delivered at the City College of New York, Michelle spoke frankly about the Obamas' legacy as the first black first family. The first lady said she chose the school because of its diversity and told students that their stories were similar to hers.

"It's the story that I witness every single day when I wake up in a house that was built by slaves. And I watch my daughters, two beautiful black young women, head off to school, waving goodbye to their father, the president of the United States, the son of a man from Kenya, who came here to America for the same reasons as many of you, to get an education and improve his prospects in life."

The theme of diversity allowed Michelle to deliver a powerful critique of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, without naming him by name. She said "some folks" seem to "view our diversity as a threat to be contained rather than as a resource to be tapped." Continuing:

"Here in America, we don't give in to our fears. We don't build up walls to keep people out, because we know that our greatness has always depended on contributions from people who were born elsewhere but sought out this country and made it their home."

Talent and ambition, Michelle explained to the graduates, are not limited by race, wealth, or fame. Her very presence there, as America's first black first lady, offered powerful proof.

Latest News
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds