In his address, Governor Richardson challenged the 2008 graduating class to combine their new skills with passion, reason and courage, and urged them to work in the public interest. In the speech, Governor Richardson outlined America's past experience and current need for courageous leadership, and laid out initial steps for renewing America's relationship with the world by returning to its traditional support for human rights, the rule of law, and international law. Governor Richardson called on the United States to lead an international effort to protect people trapped in situations like Myanmar and Darfur, when their governments fail to protect their own people.
Remarks by Governor Bill Richardson
As written for delivery
University of Pennsylvania Law School Commencement
Dean Michael Fitts, Dean of Students Gary Clinton, Honorary Fellow Jared Genser, Juris Doctor Class President Scott Reich, Masters of Laws Class President Matteo Erede, to this accomplished faculty, distinguished guests and the 2008 graduates-welcome and thank you.
It's customary to tell a commencement audience how honored you are to be at their graduation. But I want to tell you something – I really mean it. I know how much this day means for all of you. And to share in it is something very special. You've been working at this for three long years. (For some of you, maybe a little longer!)
And there are few days in life that will truly stay with you the rest of your life. This is one of them. You will remember your friends exactly as they are this day. You will remember your parents and wives and husbands and relatives – and for some of you, your children – you will remember them exactly as you see them. Graduation days have a way of freezing things in your memory.
You may not remember who spoke here today – and I won't take offense – but twenty years from now, you will remember that you hugged a friend and said goodbye, fully intending to see them again... only neither of you realized it would be the last time you would see each other. That's how life tends to work out. But the memory will stay. Just as the larger lessons you've learned at this great institution will guide you and teach you long after you've left these grounds.