Then presidential aspirant, Senator Barrack Obama stood in for Senator Edward Kennedy, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, and Barrack delivered an inspiring commencement speech to the 2008 graduating class at Wesleyan University. He implored them to be of service to their community and make the world a better place.
Barack Obama’s 2008 Commencement Speech Transcript at Wesleyan University.
Thank you, President Roth, for that generous introduction, and congratulations on your first year at the helm of Wesleyan. Congratulations also to the class of 2008, and thank you for allowing me to be a part of your graduation.
I have the distinct honor today of pinch-hitting for one of my personal heroes and a hero to this country, Senator Edward Kennedy. Teddy wanted to be here very much, but as you know, he’s had a very long week and is taking some much-needed rest. He called me up a few days ago and I said that I’d be happy to be his stand-in, even if there was no way I could fill his shoes.
I did, however, get the chance to glance at the speech he planned on delivering today, and I’d like to start by passing along a message from him: “To all those praying for my return to good health, I offer my heartfelt thanks. And to any who’d rather have a different result, I say, don’t get your hopes up just yet!”