Vice President Mike Pence delivered a commencement address Saturday at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana.
The former Indiana governor’s invitation to speak at the Christian liberal arts school stirred controversy and led to some graduates and faculty walking out before the speech.
Here’s a full transcript of Pence’s speech, which has been lightly edited for readability.
Thank you so much. To President Haines, the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, family, distinguished guests: It is an honor for us to be here at the Kesler Center for the commencement ceremony of Taylor University Class of 2019. Congratulations. You made it!
And I want to thank you, President Haines. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for those warm words. I only wish that my parents could have heard them. My father would have enjoyed it, and my mother would’ve believed it. But would you all join me in thanking President Haines for the extraordinary leadership he’s provided here to Taylor University? We are all so grateful.
And it’s great to be here with so many friends of ours. Met a lot of them backstage. It’s always good to be back in Indiana. And speaking of friends of mine, allow me to bring greetings from a friend I just spoke to on the phone on my way over to Taylor, shortly after we landed. He asked me to pass along his regards. So allow me to extend congratulations to the graduating class of 2019 from the 45th President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump.
It is a joy to be back home again here in the Hoosier State with all of you with somebody who is the most special person in my life. You know, I always wait to introduce the highest-ranking official last. She’s a Marine Corps mom. She’s a champion for military families. She even teaches art at a Christian school. Would you join me in giving one more welcome to the Second Lady of the United States of America, Karen Pence?
Karen and I are really honored to be back on this beautiful campus. It really is amazing to think: For more than 170 years, Taylor University has faithfully carried out its mission “to develop servant leaders marked with a passion to minister Christ’s redemptive love and truth to a world in need.” We heard those themes again from the podium already today.
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