President Barack Obama extolled the virtues of citizenship and urged “active participation” in democracy to the 10,143 new Ohio State graduates during Commencement May 5.
“As citizens, we understand that it’s not about what America can do for us; it’s about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but absolutely necessary work of self-government,” he said. “And, Class of 2013, you have to be involved in that process.
“The founders trusted us with this awesome authority. We should trust ourselves with it, too. Because when we don’t, when we turn away and get discouraged and cynical and abdicate that authority, we grant our silent consent to someone who will gladly claim it.”
The entire speech may be read or viewed at osu.edu/features/2013/spring-commencement-2013.html.
Along with the honorary Doctor of Laws presented to Obama, six others were honored at commencement.
Doctorates were given to iconic photographer Annie Leibovitz; Thomas Pollard, a professor at Yale University; and physicist Reinhard Rummel.
Distinguished Service Awards were presented to longtime Ohio State professor and administrator Carole Anderson, who served separately as dean of both Dentistry and Nursing as well as executive dean of Health Sciences and as vice provost for Academic Administration; George Skestos, who has three decades of leadership and philanthropy at the university and in the central Ohio community; and Justine “Tina” Skestos, a devoted public servant and Ohio State ambassador.