Stories indexed with the term ‘speech’

Photos: Local Faces in Obama’s UM Crowd

When the president of the United States comes to town to give a major speech on college affordability, it’s not something we’d want to miss.

Barack Obama

U.S. president Barack Obama, speaking at the University of Michigan’s Al Glick Fieldhouse on Friday morning, Jan. 27. His remarks focused on the issue of education and college affordability. (Photos by Mary Morgan.)

Also not wanting to miss Barack Obama’s appearance at the University of Michigan – a return visit after delivering the commencement address in May of 2010 – were dozens of other national, state and local media. Attention is heightened even more during this election year, and Friday morning’s speech was just one of many stops as Obama hit the road following Tuesday’s State of the Union address.

There will be countless reports and opinions offered on the Jan. 27 speech at UM, but we’d encourage you to approach it unfiltered, at least initially. You can watch the roughly 40-minute speech in its entirety online, or read a transcript of it here.

For Obama’s remarks almost two years ago at the 2010 UM commencement, we provided a bit of our own analysis, along with photos by Myra Klarman.

This time, we went with an eye for recording the community connections we could see at the event. And there were many – not surprisingly for a Democratic stronghold like Ann Arbor. Politicians were easy to spot, of course, but there were also educators, business owners, government workers and many others.

Over 3,000 people attended Friday morning’s speech. Here are a few of those we encountered there. [Full Story]

Obama’s Michigan Commencement Speech

President Barack Obama delivered the main address at the University of Michigan’s May 1 spring commencement.

Analysis of Obama commencement address

Word cloud analysis of the Obama UM commencement address. Image links to higher resolution file. Analysis done at

The Chronicle has transcribed the speech as delivered and provided some annotation, in part by providing section and sub-section headings that reflect the organizational structure of the president’s remarks.

The main themes were the role of government in our lives and the keys to preservation of democracy. One of those keys to the preservation of democracy, Obama told the graduates, is to “contribute part of your life to the life of this country.” [Full Story]

UM Commencement: Student Address

Word cloud analysis of Alex Marston's commencement address. Image links to higher resolution file. Analysis done at

Word cloud analysis of Alex Marston's commencement address. Image links to higher resolution file. Analysis done at

Speaking to his fellow graduates at the University of Michigan’s spring commencement ceremony on May 1, 2010, senior Alex Marston’s brief remarks gave a quick tour through some touchstones of student culture.

That tour ranged from food, to football, to academics. Marston’s focus was change – an idea that his fellow commencement speaker, President Barack Obama, had made the centerpiece of his successful 2008 campaign.

The Chronicle transcribed and annotated the address as delivered. [Full Story]

The State of the University

UM president Mary Sue Coleman, center, talks with some of her staff prior to the start of her speech.

UM president Mary Sue Coleman, center, talks with some of her staff before her speech. The small, round disk protruding from the speaker's right side of the podium is a cupholder. (Photo by the writer.)

On Monday afternoon, the University of Michigan’s president, Mary Sue Coleman, gave a state-of-the-university speech, summarizing some of the institution’s recent accomplishments, challenges and new initiatives.

Highlights of her remarks are below, and the full text of the speech is posted online. The same text was handed out to the media immediately prior to her presentation. It is not, however, exactly the speech she delivered. More on that later.

The speech was widely covered: The Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, Michigan Daily, Crain’s Detroit Business and all filed stories. Ray Suarez, senior correspondent for The Newshour with Jim Lehrer, also attended the event – a crew from the PBS show is in town shooting footage and doing interviews for an upcoming segment.

Despite the press coverage, the event did not draw a large crowd to the new Blau Auditorium at the Ross School of Business – the venue seats about 500 people, and it was less than half full. For those who couldn’t make it, here’s a look at what you missed. [Full Story]

Being There: President Obama in Michigan

President Barack Obama at Macomb County Community College in Michigan

President Barack Obama at Macomb Community College in Warren, Michigan. (Photo by the writer.)

Everyone I spoke to had a variation of the same story. A call. An email. Sometime within 24 hours of the event, offering a ticket or two to hear President Barack Obama speak at Macomb Community College on July 14.

For me, it was a call Monday afternoon from one of Rep. Dingell’s staff. Mr. Dingell had five tickets – they were offering me one. Did I want it?

Yes – if it was OK with my boss!

For the couple in line in front of me, it was a call Monday night from a lobbyist they knew who had two tickets.

For the student seated next to me, it was an email from Macomb Community College Monday, offering the tickets first-come, first-serve.

The UAW workers were called Tuesday morning. The honor student received a call from the college president Monday night. The 15-year-old photography student brought her father because she only has a learner’s permit and a really amazing camera.

We all dropped our agendas, found a baby sitter, changed our plans, canceled a meeting or two, and made our way to hear the president. [Full Story]