Arizona President Barack Obama didn’t shy away from the “snub” by Arizona State University officials who said he hadn’t accomplished enough yet to earn an honorary degree. In a commencement speech Wednesday to a stadium full of young graduates, he said the officials were right.
“I come here not to dispute the suggestion that I haven’t yet achieved enough in my life,” Obama said. With a smile he added: “First of all, (first lady) Michelle (Obama) concurs with that assessment. She has a long list of things that I have not yet done waiting for me when I get home.
“But more than that, I come to embrace the notion that I haven’t done enough in my life. I heartily concur,” the president said. “I come to affirm that one’s title, even a title like ‘president of the United States,’ says very little about how well one’s life has been led.”
Obama challenged the graduating class to find new sources of energy, improve failing schools and never to rely on past achievement.
Commencement speakers typically are awarded honorary degrees as a sign of respect and appreciation. Arizona State officials, however, did not award any such degrees this year.