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VP Harris urges Tenn. State grads to tackle problems in unsettled world

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris (Left) and TSU President Glenda Glover
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris (Left) and TSU President Glenda Glover

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP-Bruce Schreiner) — Vice President Kamala Harris urged graduates of Tennessee State University on Saturday to apply their leadership skills to help tackle the multitude of challenges posed by an unsettled world.

In her undergraduate commencement speech at the historically Black university in Nashville, Harris said the Class of 2022 stands “on the brink of a new frontier,” pointing to the prospects of more breakthroughs in technology and medical research.

But with war raging in Ukraine, the risks from climate change and basic freedoms under threat in the United States, graduates are stepping off into an uncertain future, she said.

The vice president also stressed her connection to the Tennessee State graduates as a fellow graduate of another historically Black university. She recalled seeing Howard University, her alma mater, the first time she flew on the vice presidential helicopter. While reminiscing about her time as a student, she said it reinforced the realization that “I could be anything, do anything, even if it had never been done before — like you.”

Harris — the first female U.S. vice president, and the first Black woman and person of South Asian descent in the role — received a rousing welcome from the commencement crowd.