Betsy DeVos encourages grads at commencement to 'embrace the mess'

Betsy DeVos encourages grads at commencement to 'embrace the mess'
© Greg Nash

Education Secretary Betsy DeVosBetsy DeVosMcAuliffe rolls out new ad hitting back at Youngkin on education Biden DOJ tries to shield DeVos from deposition in lawsuit over student loans The long con targeting student survivors of sexual assault MORE told graduates of Ave Maria University on Saturday that they should "embrace the mess."

DeVos’s remark came toward the end of her commencement address at the Florida school, a speech that stressed service to God, country and neighbor, according to Time magazine.

"You will find in your careers, your lives, your faith journeys that nothing is as predictable as it seems," DeVos said during her address.

"Think of a fine-looking needlepoint tapestry. When you look at the 'right side,' it is beautiful in both design and execution. But when you flip it over, it’s a mess," she said.

“I encourage you to embrace the mess,” DeVos continued. “Know that your life won’t always unfold according to plan. Anticipate being called to something different, to something unexpected.”


“Be not afraid. Don’t avoid a change in course, an alternate path,” DeVos added. “Don’t fear the unknown; step out with faith onto those stormy waters."

A group of three dozen Ave Maria alumni wrote a letter urging their alma mater to pull its speaking invitation to the Trump Cabinet member ahead of her address Saturday.

They argued that DeVos has values that are at odds with the Catholic university and promotes policies that are “unjust towards marginalized persons,” the Naples Daily News reported.

A separate group of more than 100 students wrote a letter that was supportive of DeVos as the speaker.

The university’s president, Jim Towey, did not disinvite DeVos and instead wrote an op-ed in the Daily Caller saying the school was proud to welcome the “controversial but effective” secretary.

Last year, DeVos delivered a graduation address at the University of Baltimore where a number of students turned their backs on the secretary in protest.

DeVos has been heavily criticized in recent days for her stance on gun control and arming teachers after the Parkland, Fla., school shooting that left 17 people dead.

The secretary was also criticized for a “60 Minutes” interview she did earlier this year where she struggled to answer basic education questions.