Former first lady Michelle Obama lightheartedly referred to herself as the “forever first lady” during a rousing speech on Wednesday.
“I know you have everything it takes to succeed,” Obama told around 8,000 high school students attending the 2018 College Signing Day at Temple University in Philadelphia.
“I know that you are me, and if I can be standing here as your forever first lady, then you can do anything you put your mind to,” she added.
Current occupants of the White House may not appreciate the moniker that Obama used for herself ― which folks online and the event’s host Nick Cannon have previously called her ― but the students greeted her quip with rapturous applause.
Check out Obama’s comment here:
Obama used her speech to encourage students to speak out if they find themselves struggling during what could undoubtedly be an anxious time. “No one gets through college on their own,” she said.
The signing day initiative was launched in 2014, during Obama’s time in the White House. It formed part of her Reach Higher program, which aimed “to inspire every student in America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school.”
Hollywood stars Robert De Niro, Rebel Wilson and Bradley Cooper, and singers Camila Cabello, Kelly Rowland, Ciara and Janelle Monae were among the celebrities who joined Obama at Wednesday’s event.
Most used their addresses to celebrate the students’ pursuit of higher education, and to note the importance of continuing their studies.
“College was the most incredible experience of my life,” said Cooper. “It is up to you. You are the future. We are counting on you. Congratulations, it’s an exciting time in your lives.”
Check out Obama’s full address here:
This article has been updated to note that people online and Cannon have previously called Obama the “forever first lady.”