Nearly 60,000 people turned out at Michigan Stadium to hear former President Bill Clinton encourage students to exercise their citizenship and build a greater sense of community throughout a world that is “unequal, unstable and unsustainable.”
“You have to value cooperation over unilateralism, and you have to try to spend more time, more money and more effort making a world with more partners and fewer adversaries,” Clinton told the Class of 2007.
“Every time you do anything to give a poor village a clean water well, or help children get basic health care, or offer an education in a poor country where just one year of schooling is worth another 10 percent of income a year for life, you help to make more partners and fewer adversaries,” he said.
Clinton’s first U-M visit was Oct. 19, 1992, when more than 13,000 turned out on Ingalls Mall to hear him on the eve of his election as the 42nd president.
He invoked the name of his hero, John F. Kennedy, and the fact Kennedy proposed the Peace Corps during a U-M campaign stop.
“Today I want to create a peace corps here at home and open the doors to a college education for all Americans,” Clinton said. He proposed allowing people to attend college and pay for it by serving their communities upon graduation.
He was joined on the steps of the Rackham Building by his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and their daughter, Chelsea. The Clintons came to Ann Arbor following a presidential debate with President Bush and Ross Perot at Michigan State University.
As president, Clinton appeared at UM-Flint on Nov. 7, 1994, to rally voters to support Democratic candidates for Congress.
Photo: U-M News and Information Services records, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan