On the morning of Saturday May 20, 2017, Vice President Mike Pence spoke at Grove City College’s commencement as the chosen keynote speaker. Grove City College is a private, Christian, conservative liberal arts college in western Pennsylvania. With only 2,500 undergraduate students, Grove City College is well-known for standing firm in their beliefs, vision, values and faith. Upholding with its conservative values this esteemed institution has had previous commencement speakers such as Jeb Bush, Laura Bush and, most recently, Ben Carson. However, none of them were as authoritative as the class of 2017 commencement speaker, Vice President Mike Pence.
Unlike other commencement speeches Vice President Pence has recently given, the students of Grove City College were highly cooperative and attentive. Whether the graduates agreed with Pence’s speech or not, there was an overwhelming standing ovation and roar of applause when Pence was first introduced to the college. Many of the students, faculty, parents and community members were greatly honored to have a man of such strong faith and high political power come speak in the small town of Grove City, PA. A recent college graduate shared her gratitude for Pence’s speech in saying:
“He did a wonderful job. I think it’s such an honor for the college to have anyone from the presidency to come and speak to us.” –Emma Vetter ’17.
The vice president’s speech was one that both encouraged and empowered the graduates to become strong leaders. Pence emphasized the responsibility within being a leader and the call each graduate had in their life, from that day forth, to become leaders of purpose. Mike Pence gave advice for the graduates to inspire those around them, have a heart of servant leadership and have courage and perseverance when becoming the great leaders each graduate has the potential to be. The main points of the speech were all centered around various biblical principles, and being a conservative Christian college the attendees of the ceremony greatly appreciated what Mr. Pence had to say. But more than any other advice, the quote that stood out the most among graduates was:
“Your education these past four years has prepared you to lead. You hold within you all that you need to leave this place and succeed. All you need to add to it is courage … And if you aspire to lead, you’ll need courage, because leadership brings both honor and opposition ... Don’t fear criticism. Have the humility to listen to it, learn from it and most importantly, push through it. Persistence is the key. Never quit on your dreams. Dreams may be deferred, but they must never be abandoned.” –Vice President Mike Pence
Vice President Pence’s speech brought an element of hope, positivity and encouragement to Grove City College’s campus that morning, and will be remembered by hundreds of people as an unforgettable day in the college’s history for many years to come. The community of Grove City College expresses deep gratitude and respect toward you Mr. Pence. Thank you for giving our small community a reason to believe in ourselves, our neighbors and the future of this country. God bless you Vice President Pence, and congratulations again to the Grove City College class of 2017.
Lead Image Credit: Andrew Stein