Obama to Grads: Write Next Chapter of History

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Sen. Barack Obama on Sunday delivered the commencement address at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., urging the graduates to "discover the role that you'll play in writing the next great chapter in the American story." The Democratic presidential candidate was filling in for Sen. Ted Kennedy, who last week was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.

RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne. Steve Inskeep is on assignment in Karachi, Pakistan. Robert Smith is filling in for him. Welcome.

ROBERT SMITH, Host:

It's great to be here.

Today we'll take a look at the plight of America's high school students. They're shopping for colleges and searching for summer jobs.

But first we go to Wesleyan University in Connecticut, where Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama gave the commencement speech yesterday. He was filling in for Senator Ted Kennedy. Obama says you have to look beyond your own personal troubles.

SMITH: Because thinking only about yourself, fulfilling your own immediate wants and needs betrays a poverty of ambition. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential and discover the role that you'll play in writing the next great chapter in the American story.

SMITH: That's Senator Barack Obama yesterday at Wesleyan University.

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