Search Website

E-Newsletter Signup

Social Media


Hoyer Remarks at Bowie State University Spring Commencement

COLLEGE PARK, MD – Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-5) delivered special remarks at Bowie State University’s spring commencement ceremony this morning. The commencement was held at the Xfinity Center in College Park, Maryland. Civil rights hero Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) delivered the commencement address. Below are Rep. Hoyer’s remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Good morning, and congratulations to the class of 2016! Congratulations as well to your families, teachers, and administrators, who provided you with support and guidance throughout the journey that brought you to this day.

“I’ve been proud to represent Bowie State in Congress for many years. More than a university, it is a community of people striving for excellence and contributing their intellect, curiosity, creativity, and service to our state and our nation.

“Founded in the waning days of the Civil War, Bowie State was born a phoenix rising from the ashes of slavery to carry aloft the dreams and aspirations of a free people.

“And in the intervening decades, as Bowie State grew and was shaped into the liberal arts university it is today, its history has been intertwined with the story of spirit and struggle, trial and triumph, that has characterized the African-American experience.

“As graduates of one of the oldest and most respected historically Black colleges and universities in America, you will take with you from this commencement more than a diploma. You will be leaving with a mission.

“No matter what your race or creed or origin, you are now a part of that history – part of Bowie State and its place in that story. And you must strive to make that story your own, whether it is the story of seeking justice where justice has been denied or working to better your communities and your country.

“This diploma is not a certificate of completion but a license for greater participation. You are graduating at a time of much uncertainty and profound consequence. America is engaged in a great conversation with itself, not only about what we want our future to look like but how best to reach it, with starkly different ideas and approaches. And you must be part of that conversation.

“And, as participants in it, I urge you to heed the words of a dear friend of mine – a man you are very fortunate to be hearing from at greater length in a few minutes when he delivers your commencement address.

“In his memoir, ‘Walking With the Wind,’ John Lewis wrote: ‘A free and open society – a democracy – is by definition an eternal work-in-progress. As someone once said, democracy is an ongoing conversation.  It will always be altering, shaping, and defining itself for the better. That is the way we move forward, by responding to problem after problem, step-by-step. We will never reach the top of the mountain. The summit will always recede. It is not there to be reached.  It is there to give us a direction, a goal.  It is there to lead us higher.’

“So as you go forth from this day – as you commence with the life ahead of you, the life Bowie State has prepared you for – never stop being part of that conversation.

“And always keep the mountaintop in your sights, whatever that mountaintop is for you. May it always lead you forward and inspire you to achieve great things.

“Thank you, and congratulations, class of 2016!”


    How to use: Insert <span class="EXACT_VALUE_LABEL_AS_ENTERED_BELOW">&nbsp;</span> where you'd like the value to be populated.

    Non-breaking space within span tags - &nbsp; - is required for WYSIWYG.

    (no spaces or special characters)


    Comments (optional)
    repName John Smith  
    helpWithFedAgencyAddress Haverhill District Office
    1234 S. Courthouse
    Haverhill, CA 35602
    district 21st District of California  
    academyUSCitizenDate July 1, 2012  
    academyAgeDate July 1, 2012  
    academyApplicationDueDate October 20, 2012  
    repStateABBR AZ  
    repDistrict 1  
    repState Arizona  
    repDistrictText 1st  
    SponsoredBills Sponsored Bills  
    CoSponsoredBills Co-Sponsored Bills  
  • Office Locations

    Office Name Location Image Map URL
    Washington DC 2229 Rayburn House Office
    Washington, DC 20515
    Phone: (202) 333-4455
    Fax: (202) 333-5522
    Haverhill Office
    Serving Haverhill County
    1234 East. Courthouse
    Haverhill, CA 35602
    Phone: (202) 333-4455
    Fax: (202) 333-5522
    South Office
    10 Welcome Street
    Tuesdays & Thursdays
    9:00 AM- 11:00 AM