The White House Blog: The First Lady

  • The First Lady Celebrates the 2015 Graduates of Oberlin College

    This afternoon, First Lady Michelle Obama addressed the Class of 2015 at Oberlin College in Ohio. 

    First Lady Michelle Obama at Oberlin College

    First Lady Michelle Obama is presented an honor sash during Oberlin College commencement ceremony in Oberlin, Ohio May 25, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

    The First Lady addressed the graduating Oberlin College class because Oberlin College was selected as part of the First Lady’s Reach Higher initiative’s “Near-Peer Mentoring College” Challenge – a challenge to institutes of higher education urging them to share videos on the ways they are helping high school students take charge of their future.


  • Week In Review: A Commencement Address, Discussing Poverty, and a Business Spark

    This week, the President traveled to Nike headquarters, welcomed entrepreneurs to the White House, sat down for a discussion on poverty in America, and took important steps to eliminate any ambiguity around the reforms that the Affordable Care Act calls for. The First Lady also had a busy week, which included delivering a powerful commencement address at Tuskegee University--the only university in America to be designated as a National Historic Site. 

    Find out more about the past week in our latest weekly wrap-up.


    “We’ve Got to Learn the Right Lessons”

    Last Friday, the President dropped by Nike headquarters in Oregon to talk about the impact his trade deal -- the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) -- will have on American businesses, large and small. Manufacturing and exports help drive the success of our businesses and the financial security of our workers. Companies that export their goods and services pay their employees up to 18 percent more, and are more able to expand and hire.

    Watch on YouTube

    In fact, Nike announced that the President's trade deal, if secured, could lead to the creation of up to 10,000 advanced manufacturing and engineering jobs -- and up to 40,000 indirect supply chain and services jobs -- here in the U.S. over the next decade.

    Watch the President’s remarks at Nike, and learn more about his trade deal.


  • Must Watch: 5 of Our Favorite Obama Administration Commencement Addresses

    Graduates react as President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the commencement ceremony at Morehouse College

    Graduates react as President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the commencement ceremony at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga., May 19, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    It's commencement season.

    As the President prepares to head to Connecticut to deliver the address to the United States Coast Guard Academy's graduating class of 2015 next week, we decided to pull together a few of our favorite commencement addresses from Administration officials.

    We think you'll find them pretty inspiring. Have another commencement speech you love? Tweet them to me at @Holst44.


  • In Case You Missed It: The First Lady's Powerful Remarks to Tuskegee University's Class of 2015

    Watch on YouTube

    This past Saturday, First Lady Michelle Obama delivered the commencement address to the Class of 2015 at Tuskegee University -- a historically black university in Tuskegee, Alabama. Founded by Booker T. Washington in 1881, Tuskegee is the only university in America to be designated as a National Historic Site.


  • The First Lady, Dr. Biden, and Ben Folds Celebrate Military-Connected Moms

    To celebrate Military Spouse Appreciation Day and an early Mother's Day, the First Lady and Dr. Biden invited military-connected moms to the White House for their annual Mother’s Day Tea.

    These mothers, grandmothers, and their guests enjoyed sandwiches, cupcakes, and shortbreads with a selection of teas and juices. Kids came too to make Mother’s Day gifts of petal potpourri, lace-topped cupcakes, and even potted-flower cakes.

    The First Lady and Dr. Biden greeted the spouses, thanked all military-connected moms, and recognized their service.


  • West Wing Week: 05/08/2015 or, “Viva Los Estados Unidos!”

    This week, the President visited Lehman College in New York City for the launch of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, taped an episode of the Late Show with David Letterman, hosted a Cinco de Mayo celebration, announced his nominee for the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and presented the 2014 Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy. That’s May 1st to May 7th, or “Viva Los Estados Unidos!”


  • West Wing Week: 05/01/2015 or, “I Think That Works!”

    This week, the President hosted the Japanese Prime Minister, joked around at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, sat down for an interview with the Wall Street Journal, visited the Lincoln Memorial, took a walk with the 2015 National Teacher of the Year, and participated in a “virtual field trip.” That’s April 24 to April 30 or, “I Think That Works!”


  • On College Signing Day, First Lady Michelle Obama Asks Students to Reach Higher

    First Lady Michelle Obama and President Obama wear their college gear for #CollegeSigningDay
    Each year, the nation rallies behind promising athletes as they decide where they will take their prodigious talents. Families gather around the TV to watch the draft, commentators speculate on this prospect or the other and where they’ll play college football the next year, and fans daydream about what will become of their teams.

    First Lady Michelle Obama believes that every student who has worked hard to achieve the monumental milestone of going to college should receive that same enthusiastic support, and that our country should celebrate college going with the same fervor.

    Last year, the First Lady spoke at a College Signing Day event in San Antonio, Texas. Wearing her Princeton t-shirt, Mrs. Obama told her personal story as a first-generation college student and commended the seniors on how far they had come. In that speech, she also challenged the students to continue to push forward, saying:

    Just getting into college isn’t the ultimate goal. You have got to stay focused once you get there, and you’ve got to get that degree or that certificate.


  • In Photos: Four Years of Joining Forces

    President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Dr. Jill Biden launch the Joining Forces initiative to support and honor America's service members and their families, in the East Room of the White House, April 12, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

    President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Dr. Jill Biden launch the Joining Forces initiative to support and honor America's service members and their families, in the East Room of the White House, April 12, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)


    The First Lady greets audience members after a military community event at Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 13, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    The First Lady greets audience members after a military community event at Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 13, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)


    The First Lady and Dr. Biden drop by Operation Shower, a celebration for pregnant women whose husbands are service members at Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 13, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    The First Lady and Dr. Biden drop by Operation Shower, a celebration for pregnant women whose husbands are service members at Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 13, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)


  • Empowering Young Minds at the White House

    First Lady Michelle Obama takes questions during the annual "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day" event

    First Lady Michelle Obama takes questions during the annual "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day" event in the East Room of the White House, April 22, 2015. The First Lady met with children of Executive Office employees, and local young people from the Boys and Girls Club and D.C. Child and Family Services. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

    Yesterday marked the 10th year that the White House has participated in “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.” This year, in order to give more kids an opportunity to grow and broaden their horizons, the White House expanded its program beyond the children of Executive Office of the President staff to include children from the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington and the D.C. Child and Family Services Agency.

    In keeping with this year’s theme, “Empowering Young Minds at the White House,” the programming was shaped around STEM education, the arts, and career exploration. Approximately 200 children began their day today by taking the Oath of Office, just as the President and all of his staff do. Following their oath, the children spent time in a variety of different activity stations including: a presentation from NASA; photo captioning with the White House Photo Office; creating circuits with stickers with the Office of Science and Technology Policy; printing on a 3D printer; and taste testing healthy cupcakes made by the White House Pastry Chefs. With the Japanese State Dinner right around the corner, the children also learned how to make origami frogs.