Youngkin praises VT graduates, criticizes higher education "group thought"
At a damp Lane Stadium Friday morning, Virginia Tech honored more than 5,500 students with undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Governor Glenn Youngkin told the new grads to carry their idealism and energy into their future pursuits. "So I encourage you to routinely ask yourself every year: Am I living a life without challenge? Am I following my compass?" He told them to strive for purpose, not just success. "Happiness is fleeting. It’s finding purpose that is truly sustaining."
But Youngkin also took a shot at what he called higher education in the most global sense. "There’s too much group think, too much conformity to modern doctrine. Too much intolerance that rears its head in the form of a cancel culture at the first hearing of alternative views," Youngkin said as some applauded. He called on graduates to bring grace and civility to public discourse.
Youngkin's remarks came just a few days after he sent a letter to state university presidents saying he expected them to hire faculty with diverse political perspectives. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the letter also included a call to promote free speech on campus.
Watch the full ceremony: