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A poignant moment is captured during the presidential address at UCI.


Angel Stadium of Anaheim

Princeton had former Vice President Al Gore address students at graduation. At Harvard, it was former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. And USC welcomed CEO Marc Benioff to commencement. At UC Irvine? President Barack Obama gave the keynote—he even joined them in a little Anteater sign language. “The students were electrified,” says Joseph Lewis III, dean of UC Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts. “His remarks were very personalized. ... He mentioned a few of the students’ stories, and everyone went wild!” And he told them, quite poignantly, that they were the anecdote to cynicism: “Cynicism has never won a war or cured a disease... or sent a man into space. Hope is a better choice. ... Hope is the fact that today, the single largest age group in America is 22-year-olds who are just itching to reshape this country and reshape the world, and I cannot wait to see what you do tomorrow.”