Sen. Elizabeth Warren Delivers Commencement Address, Urges Graduates to Persist in Face of Challenges - NECN
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Sen. Elizabeth Warren Delivers Commencement Address, Urges Graduates to Persist in Face of Challenges

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    Clear the Air
    Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images, File
    In this April 9, 2018, file photo, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during a program announcing the partnership between the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and Northeastern University at the George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security in Burlington, Mass.

    Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Saturday encouraged graduates of a Massachusetts college to persist in the face of "deep challenges'' in America, without naming President Donald Trump.

    Warren delivered the commencement address to graduates of Lesley University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Art and Design during a ceremony in Boston.

    Warren urged the students to "fight for what is decent and just.''

    She told students that they should find issues they care about, "and put everything you've got into moving it forward,'' citing immigration policy, women's right to choose abortions, and gun safety as potential options.

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    Warren said the nation's political atmosphere is conflicted and Americans are "facing a deep set of challenges.''

    But she also joked that a commencement speaker's job is to "refrain from boring the future leaders of our nation'' and to impart advice that sticks for at least a day or two.

    "Life is full of unexpected challenges, things that pop up and make you wonder about reality. I mean, is Kanye really ok?'' she quipped. "Did someone bite Beyoncé's face? Did the president of the United States really tweet about - let's not talk about that.''

    Jose Mendoza, the newly elected undergraduate student government president, was in the audience and said he and his fellow students were very happy to have Warren as commencement speaker.

    The rising junior majoring in business said Warren has focused much of her efforts "in the areas of social justice that Lesley students believe are important.''

    Warren's criticisms have not been lost on Trump. The Republican president repeatedly has ridiculed Warren's claims of Native American ancestry, referring to her publicly as "Pocahontas.''

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    The high-profile liberal has often been discussed as a potential 2020 election rival to Trump. Warren has said she has no intention of running for president in 2020, but she's also left herself room to reconsider.

    She has refused to pledge to complete a second six-year Senate term if she's re-elected in November.

    Lesley, founded in 1909, conferred approximately 440 bachelor's degrees at the ceremony. The school is known for its social work and teaching programs, which Warren mentioned during the program.

    "Teachers build our future and serve one of the most important functions, so love and appreciation to all of the teachers who've ever touched our lives,'' she said.

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