And, Jerry, I know your dad is looking down on you right now and he is proud, he is very proud.
The Monroe Doctrine
So congratulations on a great job, Jerry. The inspiring legacy that we see all around us in this great stadium — this is a beautiful stadium and it is packed. I said, how are you going to fill up a place like that? In this beautiful campus and in your smiling faces, but it all began with a vision. That vision was of a world-class university for evangelical Christians.
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And I want to thank you because, boy, did you come out and vote, those of you that are old enough, in other words your parents. Boy, oh, boy, you voted, you voted. But the future belongs to the dreamers, not to the critics.
The future belongs to the people who follow their heart no matter what the critics say, because they truly believe in their vision. At Liberty, your leaders knew from the very beginning that a strong athletic program would help this campus grow so that this school might transform more lives. In fact, Vice President Mike Pence is there today doing a fabulous job, as he always does. That story prompted a longtime president of another school to write a letter to Jerry. Jerry tells me that letter now hangs in the wall in the boardroom of your great university.
It came from the late Father Theodore Hesper, who was the beloved president of the University of Notre Dame 35 years ago. And then he wrote something so amazing and generous. Thanks to hard work, great faith and incredible devotion those dreams have come true. That could be tough. Would you like me to read the names? Just came out, would you like to hear them? UMass, Virginia, Auburn…. I might be at that game, who am I supposed to root for? Tell me. The success of your athletic program arriving on the big stage should be a reminder to every new graduate of just what you can achieve when you start small, pursue a big vision and never, ever quit.
You never quit. Go back home and tell mom, dad, I can do it, I can do it. I will do it. They were totally brilliant, they were top of their class, they were the best students, they were the best of everything. They gave up. So just remember that, never stop fighting for what you believe in and for the people who care about you. Carry yourself with dignity and pride. Demand the best from yourself and be totally unafraid to challenge entrenched interests and failed power structures.
Does that sound familiar, by the way? Relish the opportunity to be an outsider. Embrace that label. And always have the courage to be yourself. Most importantly, you have to do what you love. You have to do what you love.
U.S. Presidents Quiz
So do what you love. He was much more than a quarterback. He had tremendous heart and he knew how to win. Jim is tough, and his toughest fight of all was that he beat cancer, not once, but twice. And I saw him and his incredible wife as they were in a very low moment, Jill, very, very low moment. And it was amazing the way they fought.
Spiritual Learning Gives Purpose to Secular Learning
His daughter, Erin, crosses the goal line to you and today with you. So, Erin, stand up. Where are you, Erin?
Where is Erin? Congratulations, Erin.
God in the White House
Graduating from Liberty. Great choice, thank you. Liberty University is a place where they really have true champions and you have a simple creed that you live by, to be, really, champions for Christ.
And I must tell you, I am so proud as your president to have helped you along over the past short period of time. I said I was going to do it, and Jerry, I did it. We did some very important signings, right James? Very important signings. America is better when people put their faith into action. We will always stand up for the right of all Americans to pray to God and to follow his teachings.go here
Education for Real Life
America is beginning a new chapter. Today, each of you begins a new chapter as well. When your story goes from here, it will be defined by your vision, your perseverance and your grit. He saw many of his fellow soldiers die during the Bataan death march. He was the victim of starvation and torture as a prisoner of war. When he was finally set free he weighed just 85 pounds and was told he would not live past the age of Today, George is 98 years old.
He stood up for his country, he stood up for his community. And I just want to tell you, as your president, we are doing very, very well in countering it, so you just hang in there. Things are going along very, very well. Through it all, he kept his faith in God, even in the darkest depths of despair. Like so many others of his generation, George came home to a nation full of optimism and pride and began to live out the American dream.
Did you ever hear of that? We love it. Do you like it? We like it, right? I flew over it a little while ago. What started as a dream with a few good friends he helped shepherd into the largest Christian university in the world.