Secretary DeVos Receives a Standing Ovation from Ave Maria University


The Honorable Betsy DeVos chose Ave Maria University to deliver her only Commencement speech for a graduating class of 2018. The ceremony took place on Saturday, May 5th. This was the largest class to graduate from the University since its founding, with 232 bachelor’s degree recipients, ten Masters of Arts in Theology, and five Doctors of Philosophy in Theology.

Secretary DeVos was well received by the audience and students, earning a standing ovation following her 20-minute speech. Her speech focused on service to others and the teachings of the Saints who inspire Ave Maria University most, Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Saint Pope John Paul II. She also advised graduates to “embrace the mess.” She said, “Know that your life won’t always unfold according to plan. Anticipate being called to something different, to something unexpected. Be not afraid!” 

Many graduates commented that they thoroughly enjoyed hearing Secretary DeVos’ speech. Following the ceremony, Secretary DeVos took the opportunity to meet with students and their families outside for photos. Student volunteers of the Mother Teresa Museum on campus, the only museum in honor of Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta in the United States, provided Secretary and Mr. DeVos a tour before they ended their day at Ave Maria University.

The graduating class of 2018 was blessed to have such a dynamic and influential speaker for their Commencement ceremony.  We look forward to sharing with you what our graduates do next!