On This Day: May 17, 1998

George H.W. Bush is Commencement Speaker

The nation’s 41st U.S. President, the late George H.W. Bush, served as Duke’s commencement speaker in 1998. Bush spoke of his graduation 50 years earlier and what it was like as soldiers returned from the war. He noted that 245 Duke graduates gave their lives in World War II. And he told the students that they were entering a “world that is safer and better than one faced by past generations,” but with enough problems that the United States must remain engaged in solving large social and political problems.