NewsLocal News


President Joe Biden delivers commencement address at U.S. Air Force Academy graduation

More than 900 graduates celebrated the start of a new chapter
President Biden gives commencement speech at US Air Force Academy graduation
Posted at 9:54 PM, Jun 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-01 23:55:15-04

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — President Joe Biden delivered the commencement speech at the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) graduation Thursday, where more than 900 cadets celebrated the start of a new chapter.

The Henrys were one of the hundreds of families who filled the stands at the stadium.

“I'm a retired Secret Service agent. I work these events, but I've never been a participant. So, this is really something to see," Miguel Henry said. "We're here as a family, so it's much more emotional. Much more emotional.”

Miguel's son, Quinn Henry, was one of the cadets who walked across the stage and shook the president's hand.

“He's flourished here, and he's loved it, and he's been happy. And so, I'm happy," said Quinn's mother, Roxi. “I don't think people can understand what these cadets have to do to get to this point, and I didn't understand it until I experienced it through him.”

In between the emotions of the day, statistics about the class were part of the president's speech.

“Your class is one of the most diverse classes in the history of this academy," said Biden.

According to those with the USAFA, out of the 921 graduates in the Class of 2023, 270 are women and 285 are people of color. Those two categories make up around a third of the class each.

“My son is biracial. So, I am a white mom. I have a Black cadet. And I have learned a lot. And for my son to be in a diverse place means the world to me. We've worked really hard to achieve that for him," Roxi said.

Quinn's younger sister, Viveca, said there ought to be more diversity in every graduating class to better prepare for life after the academy.

“Being able to have a class at the Air Force Academy represent what's going on outside of the base and in the nation for the people that they serve, I think just helps them serve better because then they're able to pull from all those different experiences, and just do the best service that they're able to do," said Viveca.

Biden tripped over a sandbag after shaking the hands of every graduate who crossed the stage. The White House said the president is okay.

D7 follow up bar 2460x400FINAL.png

The Follow Up
What do you want Denver7 to follow up on? Is there a story, topic or issue you want us to revisit? Let us know with the contact form below.