News and Events
First Lady Laura Bush Delivered Seaver College 2007 Commencement Address
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First Lady Laura Bush delivered the 2007 Seaver College Commencement speech on Saturday, Apr. 28, on Pepperdine's Malibu campus. During the ceremony, she received Pepperdine's highest honor, the Honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
In her speech, Mrs. Bush invoked the University motto—Freely ye received, freely give—as she encouraged the graduates to make the most of their blessings. "I can tell you one thing that's certain," she said. "You won't waste your talents and education if you 'freely give' them in service to others."
She described the participation of Pepperdine students in Step Forward Day, an annual day of service; Teach for America and the JumpStart teaching program; and Project Serve trips to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Mrs. Bush also cited Pepperdine service abroad, noting student and alumni involvement in the Peace Corps, United States military, HIV/AIDS relief, and initiatives for clean water in Africa. The graduates cheered as the First Lady named students whose dedicated service inspired their fellow students.
She concluded with congratulations for the graduates, and advised: "Use your knowledge, talent, and energy to make a better world for people throughout our country—and across the globe. I know you'll find fulfillment and happiness along the way."
During the ceremony, Dennis S. Lewis, president and owner of World Travel Service, was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus. Mr. Lewis, a graduate of the Pepperdine College class of 1965, addressed the graduates and encouraged them to take sensible risks, which he described as postgraduate courses.
Prior to Mr. Lewis, Christine Yi, a graduating senior and intercultural communication major, commended her classmates' noble character and capacity to love in an emotional speech. She then brought the crowd to its feet when she sang "This Little Light of Mine."
Nearly 10,000 guests attended the 2007 commencement program to celebrate approximately 650 Pepperdine graduates.