The strong hue put a solid exclamation point on her heartfelt speech that covered the administration’s efforts in improving higher education. The lack of pattern or distraction outside of a small triangle cut-out at the chest let the focus remain on her words, USA Today reports.
“As I end my time in the White House, I can think of no better message to send to our young people, in my last official remarks as first lady,” she said, referencing the work of teachers and administrators who make students feel that they belong in schools and in the country, regardless of race, religion or gender.
“So for all the young people in this room and who are watching, know that this country belongs to you. To all of you. From every background and walk of life. If you and your parents are immigrants, know that you are part of a proud American tradition. The infusion of new cultures, talents and ideas, generation after generation. That has made us the greatest country on earth.”
“If your family doesn’t have much money, I want you to remember that in this country, plenty of folks, including me and my husband, we started out with very little,” she continued. “But with a lot of hard work and a good education, anything is possible. Even becoming president. That’s what the American dream is all about.”
She went on to celebrate the importance of hope, another through line that like her use of fashion as a communication tool, has defined the Obama White House.
“It is our fundamental belief in the power of hope that has allowed us to rise above the voices of doubt and division, of anger and fear, that we have faced in our own lives and in the life of this country. The hope is that if we work hard enough and believe in ourselves we can be whatever we dream of, regardless of the limitations that others have placed on us.”
She closed with a thank you, while fighting back tears.
“Being your first lady has been the greatest honor of my life, and I hope I’ve made you proud.”
Watch also the full version of the speech below: