Trump Urges Liberty U Grads to Stand Up to Criticism
Trump delivered 1st commencement speech as president to Christian school
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 13, 2017 11:55 AM CDT
President Donald Trump gestures as he delivers the commencement address at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., Saturday, May 13, 2017.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

(Newser) – Delivering his first commencement address, President Trump on Saturday urged graduates of a Christian university to follow their convictions but to also be willing to stand up to criticism from others who don't have the courage to do what is right. The AP reports Trump kept to an upbeat message in his remarks to graduates of Liberty University in Virginia. Drawing parallels to what was widely viewed as a longshot bid by Trump for the presidency, he urged the more than 18,000 graduates to fight for what they believe in and to "challenge entrenched interests and failed power structures." A crowd of more than double that size filled an outdoor stadium on campus to welcome just the second sitting president to address the university's commencement.

"Remember this: Nothing worth doing ever, ever, ever came easy," Trump said. "Following your convictions means you must be willing to face criticism from those who lack the same courage to do what is right, and they know what is right but they don't have the courage or the guts or the stamina to take it and to do it." Trump told graduates to "treat the word 'impossible' as nothing more than motivation" and to embrace being called an "outsider" because "It's the outsiders who change the world." Jerry Falwell Jr., Liberty's president, helped Trump win an overwhelming 80% of the white evangelical vote.

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