A crowd of more than 30,000 people packed Reser Stadium on Sunday afternoon to send off the largest graduating class in Oregon State University history and to welcome first lady Michelle Obama, whose commencement speech moved some to tears.
Michelle Obama's brother, Craig Robinson, is the head men's basketball coach at OSU, and that had a little something to do with First Lady's visit to Corvallis.
"Last fall, Craig called me up and said if I didn't speak at commencement, he was going to tell mom on me," Michelle Obama said. "Since my mother now lives with me, that threat carries some weight."
Nicole Genduff, an OSU grad, said having the first lady speak at her graduation will always be something she'll remember.
"To take that with (me), the first lady spoke at my graduation, that's a pretty cool way to go out," Genduff said.
Michelle Obama said she visited Corvallis more than just to support her brother, but to celebrate what the university is doing for the country.
"You have built one of the most sustainable campuses in America, conducting groundbreaking research from technology to childhood obesity, you are serving others in so many ways," she said.
As the graduates prepare to enter an uncertain and unstable workforce, Michelle Obama encouraged them to lead a rich life by focusing on what they have instead of what they're missing.
"Success isn't about how your life looks to others. It's about how it feels to you," she said.
Above all else, she urged students to stay true to themselves and never hold anything back.
"Grads, as you make your way in the world, I urge you not to leave behind any unfinished business. If you're in a fight, make up. If you're holding a grudge, let it go. If you hurt someone, apologize. If you love someone, let them know," she said.
Robinson said he wasn't surprised his sister's speech was well-received.
"My sister has been very comfortable in front of large groups. She picks and says the things that she does for a reason. There's always a method to the message," he said. "It's exciting, as her brother, to hear her and (see) her do such a wonderful job for our country publicly."
Michelle Obama said she was humbled and honored to receive an honorary doctorate from OSU. She said her whole family has become Beaver Believers.
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