In what is likely to be one of his many swan songs during his final year in office, Barack Obama is scheduled to deliver the keynote address next month during Howard University’s 2016 commencement ceremony in Washington, D.C.
“As one of the nation’s top Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Howard University is recognized for its rigorous education and legacy of building lasting bridges of opportunity for young people,” the White House said in a statement.
The address will mark the third time that Obama, who made history in his election as the nation’s first African-American president, has delivered a commencement address at a historically Black university. The other schools were Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia in 2010 and Morehouse in Atlanta in 2013.
“I understand there’s a common fraternity creed here at Morehouse: excuses are tools of the incompetent, used to build bridges to nowhere and monuments of nothingness,” he said at Morehouse, according to the Huffington Post. “Well, we’ve got no time for excuses – not because the bitter legacies of slavery and segregation have vanished entirely; they haven’t.
“Not because racism and discrimination no longer exist; we know those are still out there,” he added. “It’s just that in today’s hyper-connected, hyper-competitive world, with millions of young people from China and India and Brazil, many of whom started with a whole lot less than all of you did, all of them entering the global workforce alongside you, nobody is going to give you anything that you haven’t earned.”
Obama has delivered more than 20 addresses during his two terms in office. Indeed, we are eager to hear what he will say at Howard on May 7.
The president is also slated to deliver commencement addresses at Rutgers University’s New Brunswick, New Jersey campus on May 15 and the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado on June 2.
Meanwhile, take a look above at some of the president’s past commencement addresses. Which is your favorite?