Jimmy Carter photo

Remarks to Members of the Graduating Class of the Capitol Page School

June 12, 1978

It's a great honor and pleasure for me, as President of our country, to welcome to the White House a group of distinguished young men and women who have already exhibited, in your own service to the Congress, a remarkable ability, scholarship, dedication and, I presume, now, a superb knowledge of the Congress. I have a great envy of you in that last respect. [Laughter]

I should have recruited you a year or so ago to help me with advice and counsel. I think our achievements would have been even greater than they have been.

I've enjoyed my service as President, and I hope that after your own college careers are completed that many of you will choose public service. This is the largest graduating class that we've ever had from the Capitol Page School. And I think that your academic record has been one of which I know you all are very proud.

We have learned a great deal about government, you and I together. Most of you are senior to me. We have early morning study hours. I was up this morning at 5 o'clock getting ready for my week's work. You do that regularly. I put in a full day's work, and I even do some homework at night, as you do.

I think this is a class that has had notable achievement already in the fact that all of you have been accepted in college. And I hope that all of you will take advantage of that remarkable opportunity. You've had good luck. I think that there are hundreds of thousands of young Americans who envy what you've had available to you already, not only in a very high academic education but, from a very fine perspective, an analysis of what our Government is, its good, sound elements and, perhaps, even some legitimate criticisms.

I hope that you, still in your formative years, as you've now reached young adulthood, will take this experience that you've derived and use it for the best interest of our country, not in a negative, adverse, or critical fashion, but in a constructive way, because you will help to shape what our country is in the years ahead.

I am very proud of your valedictorian, Bill McMillan. I understand he's made nothing but A's ever since the eighth grade, straight A's. And your salutatorian, Chip Barber, has done almost as well.

I now want to congratulate you collectively, and as we deliver the diplomas, I'll congratulate you individually.

[At this point, John C. Hoffman, principal of the Capitol Page School, read the names of the graduates, and the President presented them with graduation certificates.]

Thank you very much. Good luck to you.

Note: The President spoke at 12 noon in the Rose Garden at the White House.

Jimmy Carter, Remarks to Members of the Graduating Class of the Capitol Page School Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/248589

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