Taking the stage to a deafening applause, First Lady Michelle Obama addressed the graduating class of Spelman College inspiring to them to “do big things.”

While the First Lady has several colleges on her list scheduled commencement addresses, Spelman was by far the most anticipated. Mrs. Obama was presented with an honorary degree from the college, along with honorees Debbie Allen, Phylicia Rashad and Wendy Kopp.

Speaking to the 550 graduates of the historically black women and the crowd of 10,000 family members, friends and supporters, Mrs. Obama reminded the audience:

“Find those folks who have so much potential but so little opportunity and do for them what Spelman has done for you. No matter where you go in the world, you will find folks who have been discounted or dismissed, but who have every bit as much promise as you have. They just haven’t had the chance to fulfill it. It is your obligation to bring Spelman to those folks. Be as ambitious for them as Spelman has been for you.”


First Lady Michele Obama commencement speech at… by teamobama2012

Mrs. Obama told the graduates to not only be mindful of the women of Spelman past but cherish the ones that had taken the journey with them, saying:

“You all are the keepers of each others histories and the bonds that you’ve formed here will sustain you and nourish you for the rest of your lives. Now that is sisterhood.”

To close the First Lady channeled the words of writer Tina McElroy Ansa:

“Claim what is yours…You belong anywhere on this earth you want to.”

What did you think of the First Lady’s commencement address to Spelman grads?  Share your thoughts, Clutchettes!

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  • I am so happy and proud of my alma marter, Spelman College (Class of 2006). This year was my 5th year reunion, and I was around for all the energy of Michelle Obama’s anticipated appearance, as well as to celebrate with my class. Seeing the Class of 2011 in their caps and gowns cbrought me back to my graduation day. Spelman College is a special experience that one can’t really put into words unless you experience it. And I agree with what she said about many women not having the opportunity to attend Spelman but who are just as driven and accomplished. No matter what college you went to, it’s our responsibility to help our sisters. To lift them up and show them that we can be anything we want to be.

  • jane

    I don’t understand how im able to view something like this and then waste energy on watching; getting emotionally charged by viewing basketball wives, mob wives and the like. I really need to step my spirit up to a higher vibration.

  • Rukyoftheyear

    I never come to comment…but I wanted to say..she sounds just like her husband…or…since she was his mentor…her husband sounds just like her… :)

    • Alexandra

      Haha! People say that a lot, and I notice it too.

  • I attended Morehouse’s trulyimpressive graduation ceremonies yesterday and while Dr. William H. Cosby Jr. and their key commencement speaker, Ms. Gwen Ifill, were spirited and very inspirational (with a playful jab at Ms. Obama’s appearance “across the street”), I would lovelovelove to have seen and heard FLOTUS in the flesh.

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