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Commencement Speaker Donna Brazile Tells Students They Must Struggle to Reach Their Goals

Veteran Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile tells graduates that FAMU has prepared them to conquer the world.

December 14, 2010

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.
– Veteran Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile told more than 700 Florida A&M University (FAMU) fall graduates during FAMU’s Commencement Ceremony that they must struggle to reach their respective goals.

“It is a special day and I know you will be excited for tomorrow,” Brazile said. “There are barriers you are destined to break. Who here today will break new ground? Who here today will beat the odds and make FAMU proud? My secret is that we are meant to struggle. We grow by our struggles. We mature by how we handle adversity. FAMU has prepared you to go out there and conquer the world.”

Brazile, a New Orleans native, admitted that a lot has changed since her childhood.

“But it is not as different as you think it is,” she said. “We were young and restless, but we made noise. Agitation for change is the duty for youth. This is your mission. We owe our freedom to those who laid down their lives. It’s now your fight to secure the future for your children’s future and for your grandchildren’s future. It’s your moment—seize it. It’s your future—claim it.”

Markashia Jeter, who earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism, said graduation felt surreal to her.

“We worked so very hard throughout our four years at FAMU, and on Dec. 10, it all paid off,” said Jeter, an Atlanta, Ga. native. “FAMU taught me to be a preserver. I made sure my nephews were a part of the experience with me, and hopefully, it will encourage them to attend FAMU one day. Donna Brazile’s words were insightful. Brazile embodies wisdom and I’m glad she shared her story with us.”

FAMU President James H. Ammons presented Brazile with the President’s Award. He later encouraged the graduates to make their marks on the world.

“Go out and change the world,” said Ammons.

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