When Gac Filipaj fled war-torn Yugoslavia in 1992, he became a refugee in New York. He took a janitor's job at Columbia University because it included free tuition. But he first had to learn English. After a dozen years, he received a bachelor's degree in classics over the weekend.
It's graduation season at colleges and universities around the country. And just as Mitt Romney addressed the students at Liberty University, other prominent politicians, entertainers and leaders are joining in that celebrated tradition. Here now, we present a composite commencement address for the class of 2012, drawn from some famous voices over the years.
(SOUNDBITE OF COMMENCEMENT SPEECHES)
PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY: Board of trustees, distinguished guests...
It's a gray April evening, and two men have driven from Easton, Pa., to Manhattan. The men are administrators at Lafayette College. They're wearing solid black suits with Lafayette pins on their lapels.
They're here to see 12 students — high school seniors who have been admitted to Lafayette and are trying to decide where to go to college.
The men have come to make the students "feel that Lafayette is in their future and make them think that they'll ruin their lives if they go elsewhere," says Greg MacDonald, Lafayette's dean of admissions.