In a stirring commencement address at Hillsdale College in Michigan on Saturday, Vice President of the United States Mike Pence encouraged graduating students that they were headed into the workplace amid a time of growing faith.
“The America that awaits your energies and ambitions is experiencing a new era of opportunity and optimism,” Pence told the graduates, according to mlive.com. “You are now uniquely suited, and I believe you are uniquely called, to renew the fabric of our national life with your character and with your ideals.”
Pence also tweeted several of his noteworthy remarks:
The percentage of Americans who live out their religion on a weekly basis – by praying, going to church, and reading and believing in the Bible – has remained remarkably consistent over the decades, even as the population of the United States has grown by leaps and bounds.
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) May 12, 2018
“Faith has always been the wellspring of hope for millions of Americans, and from our Founding, faith has been the foundation of our freedom, and religion essential to our republic,” Pence added.
The Vice President urged students to work their “deepest-held convictions into every facet” of their lives.
“Add your voices, and your values, to this new American awakening,” he said.
He went on to address the specific implications and responsibilities for students graduating from Hillsdale, a decidedly conservative and entirely privately funded classical college:
“Your education in the liberal arts has empowered you to conserve the foundations of our freedom… and you are now uniquely suited – and I believe you are uniquely called – to renew the fabric of our national life. The most heroic acts and greatest feats aren’t the stuff of headlines and fame. They’re actually the daily choices that you make and the habits you’ve already begun to form. Ultimately, whether you renew America comes down to whether you live what you have learned at Hillsdale.”
“Congratulations to the Hilldale College Class of 2018,” he concluded. “Right after we get done making this nation great again, I know your generation will make America greater than ever before.”
Many of the students were delighted with Pence’s speech.
“Some people would see it as a controversial thing because politics can always make things messy,” graduate Elise Clines told The Toledo Blade. “But I think that what’s important to remember is that no matter what political party someone comes from, it’s really an honor to have the vice president of the United States here.”
Student Dugan Delp was encouraged to hear Pence’s assertion that faith is growing in America.
“I hope that is true,” he noted. “With Hillsdale graduates, class of 2018, going out into the world, I hope that continues to happen, in some part because of us.”
Watch Vice President Pence’s full address below: