President Barack Obama addressed college graduates at Ohio State University on May 5, telling them not to be discouraged and cynical.
“That’s how our political system gets consumed by small things, when we are a people called to do great things,” said Obama.
Class of 2013, only you can ultimately break that cycle, only you can make sure the democracy you inherit is as good as you know it can be. But it requires your dedicated and informed and engaged citizenship. And that citizenship is a harder, higher road to take, but it leads to a better place.
Ohio State also bestowed an honorary doctorate on Obama, applauding his “unwavering belief in the ability to unite people around a politics of purpose.” Also honored was photographer Annie Leibovitz, whose images of Obama and his family have become iconic reflections on the nation’s first black president.
Obama’s other two commencement speeches this season will be later in May at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and at Morehouse College, an all-male school in Atlanta.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.