Michelle Obama speaks at Bowie State commencement

Photo: Associated Press

First Lady Michelle Obama received a rock star's welcome Friday afternoon when she took the podium at Bowie State's commencement ceremony.

Speaking to about 600 graduates at the University of Maryland's Comcast Center in College Park. Obama spoke of the importance of a good education and their responsibility after graduation for helping others achieve the same goal.

"Be an example of excellence for the next generation," she said, doffing a black cap and gown. "Do everything you can to help them understand the power and purpose of good education.

The First Lady praised the students for crossing the finish line, pointing out that only one in five African Americans between the age of 25 and 29 have received their college degree.

That's why Obama is urging the new grads to serve as role models.

"No matter what career you pursue, every single one of you has a role to play as educators for young people," she said.

Mrs. Obama specifically singleed out Audrey Lugmayer, who pushed through personal adversity to get her degree.

"It's a great honor to have her tell my story," Lugmayer said. "There are so many other stories like mine, so it was great to have her use it as an example of hard work.

Friday marked the second of three commencement addresses that the First Lady will give this spring. Her final speech will happen Saturday at a high school in Tennessee.

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