When asked about his greatest accomplishment of the past four years, Chu told The Hill that it should “take the night off.”
Other Obama administration officials also made appearances, including Vice President Biden, who spoke of addressing climate change.
Obama has said climate change ranks among his top three priorities for his second term, though he has not detailed specific policy plans for tackling the issue.
Outgoing Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson and departing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar also made brief speeches from the Newseum’s main stage.
Several politicos also dropped by the event.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) spent a good deal of time watching his New England Patriots fall to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game.
Sens. Al Franken (D-Minn.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) stopped by as well.
Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), who is running in a special election to replace Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), elicited stadium-style cheers when he gave a speech on the Newseum’s main stage.
Markey said he entered the race to replace Kerry — who is expected to be confirmed as Obama’s next secretary of State — because he wants to elevate climate change and clean-energy discourse in the upper chamber.
“Are we ready for another green revolution? Yes we are,” Markey said.