After today’s commencement ceremony at Bethune-Cookman University, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos issued the following statement:

“I was grateful for the opportunity to speak with and honor the graduates of Bethune-Cookman University and show my deep respect for the important legacy of Dr. Bethune. Her life’s work was to help all students succeed, and it was clear today that she succeeded beyond comparison.

“One of the hallmarks of higher education, and of democracy, is the ability to converse with and learn from those with whom we disagree. I have respect for all those who attended, including those who demonstrated their disagreement with me. While we may share differing points of view, my visit and dialogue with students leaves me encouraged and committed to supporting HBCUs.

“I want to again thank President Dr. Edison O. Jackson and the entire Bethune-Cookman University community for the opportunity to join today’s commencement celebration. B-CU’s class of 2017 has many remarkable students, and their strength and leadership make me optimistic for America’s future.”