For those not familiar with this flap, ASU had not intended to give the president an honorary degree –an old college custom lavished on commencement speakers. It was a policy that had been in place for years. But a statement by the university raised the ire of some, exacerbated by media chatter. The statement had the phrase “his body of work is yet to come” and attracted headline such as “ASU stiffs Obama.”
ASU didn’t change its policy; it created 2000 ‘Obama Scholarships’ instead.
So it was interesting to see the pres weave in that phrase many times, to take it to a different level. In the vein of any parent, any teacher that tells a young person ‘you never stop learning,’ and ‘don’t sit on your laurels…’ he stressed sacrifice and finding greatness that lies within. “Don’t stop adding to your body of work!”