ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) – Former President Bill Clinton challenged University of Michigan graduates to do their part in a world marred by inequality and insecurity.

Speaking to 6,500 graduates at the school’s spring commencement, Clinton punctuated his 23-minute speech with bits of humor while stressing community and responsibility.

“Think about how you are going to define your citizenship of your nation, community and the world, and how you will reconcile that with your different identities,” Clinton said.

An estimated 59,000 people filled more than half the seats in Michigan Stadium. While Clinton mostly avoided politics in his address, several students wore graduation caps with “end the war” written or taped on top.

Clinton said he prefers to see more good in the world than bad. But, he said, the world has its problems.

“Half the people in the world live on less than $2 a day, and a quarter will die from HIV, AIDS, tuberculosis and other diseases,” Clinton said.

Clinton said Americans have to do their part in solving problems such as climate change, inequities in health care and the depletion of natural resources.

“It’s not enough to vote and pay taxes,” he said. “Private citizens have more power today than ever before.”

Clinton was to give a keynote speech Sunday at an annual dinner held by the Detroit branch of the NAACP.



On the Net:

University of Michigan: http://www.umich.edu


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.