Vice President Pence addresses Grove City College graduates - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Vice President Pence addresses Grove City College graduates

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The graduation ceremony of 2017 is not only historic but one for the record books at Grove City College in Pennsylvania.

A total of 606 graduates dressed in black caps and gowns formed a large procession and the largest graduating class in the college's history.  

Providing them with advice as they gathered to receive their diplomas and march towards their next phase in life, the highest ranking government official to ever walk the campus, Vice-President Mike Pence.

The nation's 48th Vice-President received applause and a standing ovation as he offered his congratulations and encouragement to what he called, the Great Class of 2017, "Your education these past four years has prepared you to lead.  You hold within you all that you need to leave this place and succeed.  All you need to add to it is courage."

Pence's speech avoided any of the current day controversy in Washington, but the Vice-President did tell graduates that with leadership comes honor and opposition, and it's the one time he mentioned President Donald Trump's name.

"You know you need to look no further than a friend of mine as an example of leadership and perseverance, the 45th President of the United States Donald Trump.  You know since the first day of our administration and in the great tradition of this college our President has been freeing the American economy by rolling back the heavy hand of big government.  He's expanding educational choice opportunities for some of our most disadvantaged children.  He's been rebuilding our military, restoring safety to our streets.  And I can't tell you how proud I am to be a Vice-President to a President who stands without apology for the sanctity of life, and all the God given liberties, and the Constitution of the United States," Vice-President Pence told the crowd.

As the graduates received their diplomas they shook the hand of a man who told them he never gave up on his dream to serve in Washington.   Even after losing his first two attempts at winning a Congressional seat.

For graduate and political science major Jacob Dunlap of Lincoln, Delaware these are words to live by, "I really like what he said about what it takes to be a leader.  I think it was very motivational and encouraging for me to think of it from that perspective."

Mills Langehans who was in the audience and traveled 13 hours from South Carolina with her family to see her sister graduate tells 21 News it was once in a lifetime experience to hear Vice-President Pence speak.

"I'm thrilled it's very exhilarating especially since I'm from a small town where nothing really happens," Langehans said.

As Vice-President Pence left the stage he told the graduates, "I look out in the black robes to a sea of leaders that will lead your families, your professions, and our Country to unimaginable heights.  Grove City College Class of 2017 this is your day.  The future is yours, go get it."

The Vice-President flew into the Mahoning Valley on Air Force 2 and landed at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport.

Pence and his wife Karen were greeted by the President and CEO of Winner Aviation, the Republican Mahoning County Auditor Ralph Meachum, Vietnam War Veteran Leo Connolly and two students from the Valley.

Meachum tells 21 News that he received a call from the White House on Tuesday inviting him to meet the Vice-President at the airport.  He says Pence gave him and other Mahoning Valley guests a personal tour of Air Force 2, took photos with them and had a brief conversation with each person.

The Vice-President was headed to South Bend, Indiana and Notre Dame where he will speak at a commencement ceremony on Sunday.


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