Former republican presidential nominee and Arizona Senator John McCain made a visit to Lubbock Friday to speak at Texas Tech's graduate school commencement ceremony.
It was a first for some families who got to see a loved one earn a graduate degree from Texas Tech. There was another first as well, Senator John McCain's first speech since conceding the presidential election to Barack Obama.
You might recognize his smile, his wave and his witty sense of humor from the campaign trail. "The thought probably crossed your mind given the election's outcome I might be better off shutting up for a while," said Senator John McCain with a smile on his face.
But on this visit to Lubbock he wasn't vying for the Oval Office, he was wearing red and black. Traces of his campaign message came out in his speech at Tech Friday. "(The) object of my affection and subject of my service for half a century - my country," said McCain.
The Arizona senator recently returned from an overseas trip where he made stops in Iraq, Afghanistan and India. He wove his recent travels into his commencement speech and encouraged graduates to make a sacrifice for a cause greater than themselves. "I remain very encouraged about the progress made when failure seemed inescapable," he said in reference to the war in Iraq.
Marco Lopez walked across the stage with a Masters in Environmental Engineering and told NewsChannel 11 that it was an honor to have Sen. McCain at Tech. "What I took away is that we can all have differences but it's okay to have differences because it makes for a better country and a better United States of America," said Lopez.
Senator McCain didn't mention the economy, but it was on students minds. Lopez says he's still interviewing but he's confident with his degree he'll find something very soon.
Neel Huey and says he'd rather be coming out of school at a better point in the economy but always optimism in the future. "I'd rather be coming out of school at a better point in the economy but there's always optimism in the future and it'll come around," says Huey who received a Masters in Business Administration.
Senator McCain spoke for about 15 minutes and left United Spirit Arena before the commencement exercises were over. Those NewsChannel 11 spoke with said that John McCain was an added bonus to an already exciting day.