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|LaHood Stresses Values, Bi-Partisanship at Monmouth College Commencement -- DOWNLOAD CEREMONIES, SPEECH HERE
|UPDATED 4:40pm 5/17/09 The nation's transportation chief urged Monmouth College's graduating students to be open to viewpoints that differ from their own as they begin their post-college journey.
Former 18th District Congressman and current U-S Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood gave the commencement address Saturday as 246 seniors were awarded their degrees. LaHood, one of only two Republicans serving in Democratic President Barack Obama's cabinet, talked about the core values of respect, humility and integrity and his admiration of President Abraham Lincoln and Obama. He said a striking parallel between both presidents is that they put together a "team of rivals" for their cabinets, suggesting their appreciation of different opinions and viewpoints on a variety of issues.
LaHood told the graduates that the core values he subscribes to and encouraged them to adopt are not empty words - they are a way of life.
"These are values we have come dangerously close to abandoning at times as our society has become deeply and angrily divided over many issues, including the proper role of government itself. Yet I stand here today in front of you because these values work, they get results."
LaHood said the fact that he chose to serve in Obama's historic administration says a great deal about the power and promise of looking beyond labels. He said you don't always need to be right, but you do need to be part of the debate and participate in the search for solutions that really work. LaHood said nobody understood that better than Lincoln, who's district he said he had the privilege of representing in the U-S House for 14 years.
LaHood received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Monmouth College. The college also presented honorary degrees to Amy Shapiro, a fine arts teacher at Bolingbrook High School who was recognized as an exemplary pre-college teacher, and David Bowers. Bowers is a 1960 Monmouth College graduate who served as chairman of the college's board of trustees from 1995 to 2007.
To download Sec. LaHood's commencement address, CLICK HERE (mp3 format, approximately 11 minutes long)
To download the rest of the Monmouth College Commencement ceremony, prior to the reading of the names of the graduates, (including Sec. LaHood's address), CLICK HERE (mp3 format, approximately 54 minutes, 30 seconds).
Pictures from the 2009 Monmouth College Commencement:
The Monmouth College Pipe Band makes the Entrance of the Pipers at Monmouth College's 152nd Commencement Exercises
Monmouth College Class of 2009
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood gives the commencement address at Monmouth College
Amy Shapiro speaks to the graduates after being conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Education Degree from Monmouth College
David Bowers congratulates the Class of 2009 after the college presented him with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters
(WGIL news story and photos by Mike Perry)
|05 18 09 by Newsroom
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