US

AP PHOTOS: College commencements across nation

  • People sit in the rain and listen as President Barack Obama delivers the 129th commencement speech at Morehouse College Sunday, May 19, 2013, in Atlanta. In a soaring commencement address on work, sacrifice and opportunity, the President told graduates of the historically black college to seize the power of their example as black men graduating from college and use it to improve people's lives. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

    People sit in the rain and listen as President Barack Obama delivers the 129th commencement speech at Morehouse College Sunday, May 19, 2013, in Atlanta. In a soaring commencement address on work, sacrifice and opportunity, the President told graduates of the historically black college to seize the power of their example as black men graduating from college and use it to improve people's lives. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)  (The Associated Press)

  • Rutgers University President Robert L. Barchi gestures to students in the rain at Rutgers University's football stadium in Piscataway, N.J., Sunday, May 19, 2013, during graduation ceremonies. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    Rutgers University President Robert L. Barchi gestures to students in the rain at Rutgers University's football stadium in Piscataway, N.J., Sunday, May 19, 2013, during graduation ceremonies. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)  (The Associated Press)

  • First lady Michelle Obama jokes with a student as she hands out diplomas during the graduation ceremony for Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet High School on Saturday, May 18, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

    First lady Michelle Obama jokes with a student as she hands out diplomas during the graduation ceremony for Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet High School on Saturday, May 18, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)  (The Associated Press)

In a commencement address at Atlanta's historically black Morehouse College, President Obama said graduates should "find time to defend the powerless."

The president said his own success was due to "the special obligation I felt, as a black man like you, to help those who need it most, people who didn't have the opportunities that I had — because there but for the grace of God, go I. I might have been in their shoes. I might have been in prison. I might have been unemployed."

In New Jersey, Rutgers University graduated the largest class in school history — an estimated 14,302 students.

At New York's Hofstra University, students wore white ribbons at their graduation ceremony in honor of Andrea Rebello, one of their colleagues killed by a gunshot early Friday morning. A police officer accidentally killed 21-year-old Rebello as an armed intruder held her in a headlock.

Here are some images from college commencements across the nation: