Pitt Grads Urged to Be Great by Serving

Article excerpt

Fifty years after the founding of the Peace Corps, Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin urged 6,400 graduates of the University of Pittsburgh to lead a life of service.

"Don't just see the light," he said. "Be the light."

Cardin, 67 and a 1964 Pitt graduate and admirer of the Peace Corps, delivered the commencement address before 13,700 people on Sunday at the Petersen Events Center in Oakland. He was awarded an honorary doctorate of public and international affairs from the university.

He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in Maryland in 1986 and to the Senate in 2006. He serves on the Senate Finance Committee and the U.S. Helsinki Commission.

Citing Martin Luther King, Jr., Cardin asked the graduates to heed the inner voice that urges them to do something for the greater good.

"Everybody can be great," the civil rights leader once said, "because anybody can serve."

Cardin recalled a Peace Corps volunteer he met in Morocco. She was teaching women how to be entrepreneurs so they could make a fair living from their work as artists.

"The Peace Corp captures the essence of our country at its best - - highlighting America's strengths and demonstrating that each of us can make a difference," he said.

The students wore black caps and gowns and colorful hoods symbolic of the various schools within the university. …