President Jimmy Carter speaking at the podium at commencement with flowers in the foreground and the stands of Wallace Wade Stadium in the background

On This Day: May 18, 1997

Jimmy Carter is Commencement Speaker

Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States gave Duke’s commencement address in 1997, the same year his grandson Jason graduated from Duke. He challenged graduates to be kind and generous, smart and curious, and understand the plight of the less fortunate.

“Share what we have with others,” he said.