Former Gov. Jeb Bush shares life lessons at UCF graduation ceremony

Bush imparts words of wisdom from late mother

ORLANDO, Fla. – Thousands of graduates and their families are filling up the CFE Arena this weekend for the multiple commencement ceremonies at the University of Central Florida. 

The university presented former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush with an honorary doctoral degree in public service after he served as the keynote speaker for the 2:30 p.m. commencement ceremony Thursday.

It was one of his first appearances since his mother, former first lady Barbara Bush, died of failing health. Even to this day, he said, he follows her instructions. 

"So when I did ask her about what I should speak about, she would always say, 'Jeb speak about 10 minutes and sit down and shut up,'" Bush said. 

Bush encouraged the UCF graduates to be a service to all people, like his mother was, and to build a positive career. 

"Add value to people, to your life and other people that you care for, focusing on your family and making a difference," Bush said. 

He told the graduates how he’s still humbled by his mother's huge impact.  

"So many Americans reflected on the remarkable life of my mother after her recent passing, and I was struck by how many people were inspired to do things to be involved in causes far bigger than themselves," Bush said. 

Many of the graduates told News 6 that Bush’s speech was right on time. 

During Thursday afternoon's commencement, Bush also congratulated Dr. John Hitt for his tenure and service as president at UCF.  Dr. Dale Whittaker takes over soon as the university's president. 

About the Author:

Jerry Askin is an Atlanta native who came to News 6 in March 2018 with an extensive background in breaking news.