First Lady Michelle Obama Delivers the Commencement Address at Eastern Kentucky University

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during the Eastern Kentucky University commencement (May 11, 2013)

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during the Eastern Kentucky University commencement at the EKU Alumni Coliseum in Richmond, Ky., May 11, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

First Lady Michelle Obama yesterday celebrated a new class of graduates from Eastern Kentucky University.

"You all went through so much to make it to this day -- the highs and the lows, the triumphs, the challenges, the celebrations, the devastations -- and I'm not just talking about your love lives, either," the First Lady told the graduates. "I'm talking about all those papers you poured your heart into; all those caffeine-fueled all-nighters; those moments of anxiety as you set out on your own, looking to find new friends you clicked with and a new community to call your own."

At Eastern Kentucky, the students were part of a community committed to public service -- and in the past year, the seniors and their classmates put in more than 107,000 hours of volunteer work. And Mrs. Obama told the Class of 2013 that they needed to maintain that commitment as graduates.

"Whether you’ve worn our country’s uniform or not, we’re all called to serve and to give back to those around us," she said. "And you don’t have to travel across the globe or even across the country to find ways to serve. All you have to do is take a look around your own community. Are there kids in your neighborhood who could use a mentor? Can you volunteer with an organization that serves military families? Can you pick up a few extra cans of vegetables and donate them to a food bank? I mean, these may seem so small, but they really make a difference. Because when you’ve worked hard and done well, as I said, the least you can do is reach back and give a hand to somebody else who could use that help."

Read the full remarks from First Lady Michelle Obama in Richmond Kentucky. Or check out the slideshow from past commencement addresses that she's delivered:

  • The First Lady Attends The Spelman College Commencement

    First Lady Michelle Obama attends the Spelman College commencement in Atlanta, Ga., May 15, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

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  • The First Lady Is Awarded An Honorary Degree

    First Lady Michelle Obama during commencement at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, May 8, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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  • First Lady Michelle Obama Delivers Remarks In Greensboro

    First Lady Michelle Obama at the North Carolina A&T State University commencement, May 12, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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  • The First Lady Enters The West Point Graduation Banquet

    First Lady Michelle Obama at the United States Military Academy, May 20, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

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  • A Shirt Advertises The First Lady's Attendance At Commencement

    A shirt of the First Lady from the University of California at Merced commencement, May 16, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

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  • The First Lady Pauses After Delivering The Commencement Address

    The First Lady delivering the commencement address at the University of Northern Iowa, May 7, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

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  • The First Lady Walks On Stage For The Commencement

    The First Lady at the George Washington University commencement on The National Mall, May 16, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

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  • The First Lady Delivers The Oregon State Commencement Address

    The First Lady delivers remarks during the Oregon State University commencement, June 17, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)

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  • The First Lady Waves To Students In Lane Stadium

    First Lady Michelle Obama waves to students following the Virginia Tech commencement, May 11, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

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