LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Former President Bill Clinton delivered the commencement address at Loyola Marymount University’s graduation ceremony Saturday.
Clinton spoke to graduates exactly one month before the California primary election, in which his wife Hillary will be looking for a boost in her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The speech was not overtly political, though in a possible plea for Democratic party unity, the former president implored the audience to focus on their similarities rather than their differences.
Hillary Clinton also attended the ceremony, watching as the couple’s nephew was awarded a degree alongside more than 1,400 bachelor’s degree recipients.
Bill Clinton’s speech encouraged students to “set the world on fire” with their passions. Other major themes of the speech included recovering from setbacks and embracing an increasingly connected world.
“You are graduating in the most interdependent age in human history,” Clinton told the class. “…And so whether we like it or not, for the rest of your lives, what happens to you will in some measure be determined by what happens to other people. By how you react to it, how they treat you, how you treat them, and what larger forces are at work in the world.”
With the California primary drawing nearer, at least one professor made her political beliefs known. English professor Theresia de Vroom wore a “Bernie 2016” pin as she took the podium to present an award to a graduating senior.
In announcing the former president as the commencement speaker, LMU President Timothy Law Snyder last month called him “one of the great statesmen of our time.”
“His commitment to improving the lives of other people, during and beyond his career in U.S. politics, embodies the ethos of becoming women and men with and for others,” Snyder said. “President Clinton will inspire our graduates as they seek to lead lives of meaning, purpose and global impact.”
(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)