Michelle Obama delivers powerful message at Dillard University g - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

Michelle Obama delivers powerful message at Dillard University graduation

First Lady Michelle Obama delivered the commencement speech for Dillard University on Saturday.

"This is really exciting, and it's such a historic moment in Dillard's history. To be apart of this, to listen to her speak, I'm sure I'll be in tears," said Mandisa Reed from Las Vegas.

According to the White House, The First Lady chose to speak at Dillard because of its legacy as one of America's top historically black universities, and because its student body is filled with those exemplifying her "Reach Higher" education initiative such as Reed.

"This day is extremely special to me because I'm the first of my parents seven kids to graduate from college, so, I'm just swelling up with pride," said Reed.

Another example was Class President Nicole Tinson, who explained to the crowd the adversity she faced when her Los Angeles high school guidance counselor once said Tinson wasn't equipped for college.

"She said, Nicole, I believe you should go to a trade school. Why don't you do hair or something like that?" said Tinson during her speech.

However, Tinson will now head off to Yale University for graduate school, but not before first introducing the First Lady to her senior class.

"Today, I stand before a sea of young geniuses," said Michelle Obama.

With roaring applause, Mrs. Obama reminded students about Dillard's history, which reaches back to 1869 and was created from the ground up by former slaves.

She asked students to continue that legacy.

"I want you to keep reaching higher, I want you all to keep raising your bars, let the next generation know that there is no greater investment than a good education," said Obama.

It's important to learn, she said, especially in the face of adversity and even danger, referencing the more than 200 girls kidnapped in Nigeria who risked their lives to go to school.

"While it is a wonderful thing that all of you are here today, we have to ask ourselves, what about all those geniuses who never get this chance?" said Obama.

It was a message graduates promised to keep in their hearts as they walked across the stage, diploma in hand.

"That's kind of how I can sum all that up is: wow," said Reed.

Copyright 2014 WVUE. All rights reserved.

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