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tv   Former Senator Ayotte Delivers University of New Hampshire Commencement...  CSPAN  May 30, 2017 4:36am-4:51am EDT

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believes i would never want anything bad for him. he trusts what i tell him because he knows that of all the people on earth, not love him more than me. i love my son. how much more does god love you? so i would say to you to try to become more childlike. as my kids get older, they believe me less and less. sometimes, i fear that the more educated we get, the dumber we get. that the more we embrace the wisdom of the world, the further away from the simple truths we get. announcer: former senator kelly ayotte delivered the commencement address to graduates of the university of new hampshire's manchester campus. he talked about losing her reelection bid in november 2016 and the importance of learning from mistakes and failure. [applause] sen. ayotte: thank you so much,
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dean decelle. i am very honored to be here tonight. president huddleston, chairman riley and members of the unh board of trustees, senator faculty and staff, students, parents, family and friends, thank you for inviting me to celebrate this very special day with you. to the class of 2017, congratulations. you have worked very hard. you can finally relax. you turn all your assignments in. you have done your exams. and now is the time to recognize all you have achieved. many of you have pursued your degree working full-time or taking care of a family. that's not easy, and we admire you. it takes special determination and grit to earn your degree while holding a full-time job for taking care of a family. because of what you have accomplished, you graduate today
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well prepared to pursue your dreams, because you already know that to be successful you have to be able to manage more than one responsibility. you are well positioned to find that balance between your profession, your family life, and your health, so you can be at your best to live a full and rewarding life. now, days like this, they don't just happen, do they? you all worked hard. you make sacrifices to be here. and you can take great pride in receiving your degree today from unh. but none of us truly accomplishes anything alone, do we? there are many people here with you today -- parents, spouses, family members, friends, mentors , people who supported you along the way, people who went the extra mile and made a difference
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for all of you. can we give another round of applause for the collective efforts of everyone who helped get you here today? [applause] thank you.: as i look out at all of you, i am struck by one simple truth. you are our future. the future, not only of our nation, but of our state. and we live in a great state. with your degree from unh, i encourage you to do something i did -- make new hampshire your home. continue to grow your roots here. you can have a rewarding career and live a vibrant life in this state with an excellent quality of life. after going out of state for my degrees, the best decision that
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i ever made in my life, really, was to come home back here in new hampshire to build my life. there are so many opportunities in new hampshire to get involved in your community and to be part of something that's bigger than just yourself. whether it is serving in local or state government, volunteering with a nonprofit, coaching a team, or even running for office -- if i could do it, you can, too. i know for sure, had i started my career somewhere else, i would have never had the amazing experiences that i have had, and the privilege of serving the state of new hampshire. -- if youise you this stay in this state and you build your post-graduate life here, you will not regret it and will get so much in return. -- so much in return from new hampshire. now, i remember what it was like sitting where you are.
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i know it was many years ago. some of you may already know what you want to do next and have a very clear vision and have it all lined up. some of you may not quite be sure what you want to do next. there is only one thing i can guarantee you, and that is, in a manner -- that is, no matter what your vision and plan is right now, your life will not proceed in a straight path, and there will be surprises along the way, things you can't anticipate that come before you, opportunities that you would have never thought about. in my own career, i could have never imagined, when i was sitting where you are today, that things would happen in my career, twists, turns, things i never expected. and often what looks like a detour is something that is really actually bringing you to your true calling and is something that you love to do. after i graduated from law
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school, the thought of becoming a prosecutor or attorney general, or senator for that matter, never even crossed my mind. in fact, my plan was to go to a private law firm, make a good salary -- i have student loans, like i'm sure many of you do -- just wanted to pay them off and kind of figure it out. so i did that. i actually went to work for a big law firm right here in manchester. here i am, working at this law firm. and one day, a more experienced lawyer in the office came into my office, and he asked me to take on an assignment. he asked me to take -- to do what is called an arraignment in federal court. basically, an arraignment is the beginning of a criminal proceeding. so i was really eager to prove myself, so i said, i will do it. little did i know, i had no idea what i was walking into.
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he sent me to cover a case in federal court, a very serious criminal case, a case that involved five defendants who were charged with committing bank robberies up and down the east coast. and in fact, one of those bank robberies happened in hudson, new hampshire, where unfortunately two guards were murdered. and so i walked in to this case not knowing anything. let me just be honest with you -- i had only been a lawyer for a few years and i had never done an arraignment or any criminal trial. never mind one that was so important and serious. , and way over my head there were many more experienced players in the courtroom -- many more experienced lawyers in the courtroom. even my client had more courtroom experience than i did. [laughter] sen. ayotte: the first time i met him, i'm at this hearing. i go down to the cellblock to meet my client.
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here i am, this young woman, and i meet this really tough looking guy. but he had a look of terror on his face, and the only thing i could think to tell him is, don't worry, i am not your only lawyer. i'm sure that was very reassuring to him at the time. at that first hearing, i spent most of the day watching the makingperienced lawyers, sure i was actually facing the right direction in court. we have all felt that way at times, right? we are in over our head, but it is a great opportunity and we should do it. i was not exactly sure what i had gotten myself into. but when i returned to the office that night, i told the lawyer who had sent me into the lions den that i wanted to work on that case. as a result, my jury trial was a first three-month trial in federal court, where i learned about things like dna evidence. but most importantly, when i learned is what i loved to do --
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i loved being in the courtroom, and i knew i wanted to be a prosecutor and serve the public and help victims of crime. so that started me on a whole new direction. so i applied for a job as a prosecutor at the attorney general's office, and guess what -- they rejected me. so i applied again, and i stuck with it. eventually, you find out, if you are persistent enough, they will hire you. so i became a murder prosecutor, and within a decade, i was the first woman to serve as attorney general of our state and, several years later, i became a senator. [applause] sen. ayotte: thank you. to share with you about that experience is foremost, what i took from this is this. if there is something you really want to do, you have to be
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willing to take risks and not be afraid to take those risks. it is the only way you can find out through the what you can accomplish. push the boundaries of your comfort zone to find the true potential within yourself. find out what you are passionate about. there is a common thread with the many successful people i have met in my life. they are passionate about what they do. it is really tough to be good at something that you don't care about. what your passion is -- find out what it is, and it is going to be different for each and every one of you. as steve jobs, the founder of apple, once said at a commencement like this, "your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. and the only way to do great work is to love what you do.
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if you haven't found it yet, keep looking. don't settle." and be determined. if you want something, refused to give up, no matter how many setbacks that you face. you all know that because you have faced setbacks getting to this day, i am sure, each and every one of you. this fall, i lost my reelection to the senate by a narrow margin. and it was tough. i wanted to win. and i had to pick myself back up after that loss. and i am reminded of the words of winston churchill -- "success is not final, failure is not fatal -- it is the courage to continue that counts." we have all had times in our lives when we have worked hard for something that we wanted,
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but it didn't work out. there is not a successful person out there who has not had failures. but i am here to tell you, success is actually not the best teacher. often when things are going our way and going well, we don't take the time to evaluate how we can be better. if you are willing, you will learn the most about yourself from your mistakes and your setbacks. own them and learn from them. and you will emerge stronger as a result of having gone through them. -- andlong run, nothing i mean nothing -- can stop the combination of hard work and perseverance. if things don't go your way -- and once in a while that is going to happen -- get back up
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and try again to reach your goal. and don't settle for anything less than you are fully capable of doing. and i know you won't, because you are here today. you worked very hard. you have already demonstrated, by earning your degree, that you have that tenacity and perseverance to succeed. enjoy this important and great moment in your lives. ,ll the hard work has paid off and we are also proud of you and what you have accomplished. with what you have learned at unh, you have the tools to have a rewarding and successful career here in new hampshire, add anything you put your mind to -- at anything you put your mind to. i want to thank you so much for having me here today. it is a deep honor to share this special day with you.
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i wish you every success in your career and life. i know we are going to see great achievements from the class of 2017, all of you here today, and i wish you the very best luck. thank you for having me. [applause] announcer: general serving as the chair of the joint chiefs of staff, the highest ranking officer in the u.s. military. he gave the commencement address at his alma mater, st. michael's college in vermont. [applause] general dunford: let me start with the father. thanks for those words. but more


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