Senator Bernie Sanders was present at the JSC commencement ceremony to delivery a speech to its graduating class of 2017.
Given Sanders' efforts to make education more accessible in the US, and his vast knowledge concerning the merits of doing so, he serves as a great motivator to the students of the liberal arts college. In addition, Sanders states that Johnson State College is close to him on a personal level, due to his family's involvement in it. After joking lightly with the graduating class, Sanders moves onto more serious matters in his JSC commencement speech -- touching on the importance of continuing to fight for social and environmental issues during a time that the US is plagued by greed and uncertainty.
Powerfully, Sanders states that now is the time to fight back, as well as to "be bold and think big" so that true democracy is not lost. By highlighting the steps backwards that have been taken recently, Sanders encourages the students to make change a priority, and to not allow complacency to prevent those in need from having the resources they require to succeed.