VIDEO: Dr. Joyce Banda Speaks at Wheelock Commencement 2015

Wheelock’s Undergraduate Commencement Speaker Her Excellency Dr. Joyce Banda, former president of the Republic of Malawi, told the graduates at the May 15, 2015 ceremony, “I’m an African woman, a mother, a grandmother, but also a leader. I’ve taken many roles, businesswoman, politician, head of state, member of Parliament, and cabinet minister. I’ve been a foreign minister, vice president, and president. Through all these roles, I have had the opportunity to be an agent for change. The message I bring is that I want you to know that I didn’t do it in a day. It’s been a journey of 40 years. As you graduate, it is a shining day for you. It is a celebration of years of hard work…But the reason they call it commencement is that the goal today is not to celebrate the end of things but to celebrate the beginning of the rest of your life and career.”

At the Undergraduate Ceremony, Wheelock awarded honorary degrees to three influential social justice advocates who embody the spirit of the undergraduate and graduate Commencement theme “Advancing Social Justice and Education around the World.” Receiving honorary degrees were: Dr. Banda, Mr. Lawrence O’Donnell, and Dr. Tiziana Filippini.

Watch Dr. Banda’s full address above.¬†See more highlights from Wheelock’s 2015 Commencement Ceremonies. Our Graduate Commencement speaker was¬†Lawrence O’Donnell, MSNBC Host of “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” and founder of the K.I.N.D. Campaign.