2010 : President Obama Visits Kalamazoo

June 7, 2018 all-day


In early March, students at Kalamazoo Central High School submitted a video to Get Schooled’s Race to the Top competition, a nationwide search to find the school most dedicated to making — as Get Schooled put it — “great strides on personal responsibility, academic excellence and college readiness.” More than 1,000 high schools across the country entered; Kalamazoo Central won.

On Monday (June 7), the school finally received its prize: President Barack Obama showed up to deliver the commencement address for the class of 2010.

And it was worth the wait. Delivering his first-ever high school graduation speech, President Obama lauded Kalamazoo Central’s students for their hard work, dedication and ingenuity and called the school a model for success in the 21st century.

Speech transcript

Watch the Address on YouTube.

James Montgomery, President Obama Delivers Commencement Speech At Kalamazoo Central High School; ‘Be a part of something bigger than yourself,’ he urged the Michigan students, who won Get Schooled’s Race to the Top contest, MTV News, June 7, 2010.

President Obama Surprises Seniors at Kalamazoo Central High School, White House Blog, June 17, 2010.

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