More than 1,000 graduates of the Eberly College of Arts and
Sciences filed into the WVU Coliseum Sunday.
native Jason Parsons is a WVU student. He spoke to the audience.
“For me, the journey to here began on Route 3, a little
country road that we use through the southern coalfields of West
Virginia,” Parsons said.
“I always believed that that road could take me anywhere I
wanted to go, so long as I was willing to work for it.”
Parsons met President Clinton in 2008 when working for
Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
He asked Clinton
to speak at WVU for the graduation.
Clinton says he
was glad to accept the offer.
“I love West Virginia.
When I first came here, when I was running for president in 1992, the most recent
census said my native state of Arkansas and West Virginia had one thing in
common: we had the highest percentage of people living in the state who were
born there,” Clinton said.
“I think it says something about how much the people who
live here love the place, and believe in it.”
an honorary degree from WVU before making his remarks.
In his address, Clinton
says the world is facing new problems and opportunities are not equal for
it’s important for graduates to work toward living with confidence in the face
of change and helping people who don’t have the same opportunities they have.
“We all have to be in the future business. That’s the one
little catchphrase that will encompass everything,” he said.
“The future business in the economy means we have to create
jobs again. If you’re talking about education, you have to figure out how to
bring the benefits of education to people who don’t come in to colleges and
Clinton stressed that all people have to work together
to solve the world’s problems.
“The only way to celebrate what is unique about your life,
is to recognize that what we have in common matters more. If the world can come
to that recognition, we are going to be fine,” Clinton
quickly enough as it is, it will be over before you know it. You need to make
the most of it, have a good time doing it, but be rooted in an understanding of
the time where you live.”
Not all the remarks were serious in tone. Clinton
said he rooted for WVU during its recent NCAA men’s basketball tournament run
to the Final Four.
The statement received loud cheers from the audience.
The ceremony is one of 14 graduation exercises that were
scheduled at WVU from May 14-16.