University of South Carolina

Board Chairman Miles Loadholt (right) congratulates Dr. Eugene Robinson.
Board Chairman Miles Loadholt (right) congratulates Dr. Eugene Robinson.

Robinson urges grads to make the nation stronger

Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The Washington Post, urged University of South Carolina graduates to do the difficult work necessary to make the nation stronger. “Your presence here today means that you are among the best-prepared young men and women this nation has to offer,” Robinson told bachelor’s and master’s graduates at Friday afternoon’s commencement.

“Use that preparation. Do not settle for what is easy. Go out and do the things that are hard.” Robinson said.

A native of Orangeburg and a graduate of Orangeburg Wilkinson High School, Robinson received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the university. He spoke about the journey that the country has taken from the days when he was a young boy in South Carolina, a time when blacks were not allowed the same rights as other Americans, to today, when an African-American president works in the Oval Office with a bust of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the sideboard.

“It was hard. It was uncomfortable, at times painful, and sometimes it seemed impossible. It required all the intelligence, all the bravery, all the commitment of so many people over so many years -- and still we haven’t finished the journey. We have not. But we’ve come this far because so many Americans were willing to go out and do what was hard.”

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