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Morehouse graduates, alumni brave driving rain to hear Obama's commencement address


Carolyn Kaster / AP

Morehouse College alumni listen to President Barack Obama deliver his address under heavy rain at the school's 129th Commencement ceremony, May 19, in Atlanta.

Jason Reed / Reuters

U.S. President Barack Obama adjusts his tie before receiving an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

By Andrew Rafferty, Staff Writer, NBC News

President Barack Obama on Sunday stressed the importance of personal responsibility and “what it means to be a man” in his commencement address at historically-black Morehouse College in Atlanta. 

In the midst of a driving rain, Obama told graduates at the all-male private college that they have obligations to “those still left behind” to be role models for the entire African-American community, both personally and professionally.

“My whole life, I’ve tried to be for Michelle and my girls what my father wasn’t for my mother and me,” Obama said, referring to his own dad who left his family when the president was just a baby. “I want to break that cycle where a father’s not at home, where a father’s not helping to raise that son and daughter. I want to be a better father, a better husband, a better man.”

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Carolyn Kaster / AP

Graduate Leland Shelton is congratulated as he is acknowledged by President Obama during the commencement address at Morehouse College. After a difficult childhood, Shelton is graduating Phi Beta Kappa and is on his way to Harvard Law School.

Jason Reed / Reuters

Graduates of the class of 2013 cheer during the commencement address.