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Michelle Obama Applauds Hokie Nation At Virginia Tech Commencement (VIDEO)

Posted: 05/12/2012 12:00 pm Updated: 05/12/2012 11:10 pm

Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama cheered graduates at Virginia Tech's commencement ceremony Friday, offering advice with a nod to the school's strength following violent events on campus.

"I know... I'm supposed to offer you all kinds of wisdom and advice and life lessons. But the truth is, like so many people across this country and around the world, I have been following the journey of this school," Obama said. "I have witnessed the strength and spirit of the Hokie Nation, and I think that you all already learned plenty of lessons here at Virginia Tech."

Obama recounted how, as a 26-year-old, both her father and a close friend died. She said that following intense grief she "came to realize that the best way for me to honor my dad's life was by how I lived my own life," said Obama.

Also on HuffPost: Best Speeches of 2012

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  • Amy Poehler At Harvard

    Definitely the funniest commencement speech of 2011. Also probably one of the funniest commencement speeches of all time.

  • Sheryl Sandberg At Barnard

    "Men run the world," Sandberg told Barnard's class of 2011. "We will never close the achievement gap if we don't close the ambition gap." A great message for girls everywhere.

  • Denzel Washington At UPENN

    Washington delivered and inspiring speech about the necessity of failure.

  • Tom Hanks At Yale

    Tom Hanks gave the address at Yale graduation, in which he implored the class to "please do not turn off your electronic devices." A warm and funny speech.

  • John Legend At Kean University

    Kean University students got two for the price of one. John Legend gave a speech and a swoon-worthy performance at their commencement.

  • Arianna At Sarah Lawrence

    "Perseverance is the difference between success and failure," Arianna told Sarah Lawrence grads in her witty and thought-provoking speech. "Failure is not the opposite of success, it is the stepping stone to success."

  • Obama At Coast Guard

    Obama warned Coast Guard that they have "never been more important" in his address at the Academy.

  • Ronan Farrow At Simons Rock

    Ronan Farrow gave an informative speech about what young people can do for the world at Simon's Rock College of the Bard.

  • Michelle Obama At Spelman

    Michelle Obama gave an amazing speech at Spelman College, detailing the school's history, and telling grads, "Do big things."

  • Jack Nicholson At Brown

    OK. So this isn't exactly a commencement speech. But you have to watch it, trust me!

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Filed by William McGuinness  |