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8:52 am
Mon May 23, 2011

Chafee to grads: never insult a crocodile

PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode Island is awash in freshly minted college graduates this morning.

Over the week-end graduation ceremonies were held at five Rhode Island colleges and universities. Nearly nine thousand students received baccalaureate or advanced degrees.

It was cloudy and cool but the rain held off as the University of Rhode Island awarded diplomas to more than three-thousand undergraduate students in an open air ceremony Sunday.

Governor Lincoln Chafee passed along some wisdom from his grandfather:

"My grandfather had a list of aphorisms that I still remember including never insult a crocodile before your cross the stream and you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar," he says. "Those lessons are very valuable in life and for me in the State House."

Newark Mayor Cory Booker - recently named by Time Magazine as one of the world's most 100 influential people - recalled his grandfather telling him "that tassel is worth the hassle" and called on the graduates to make a difference.

"We all sit at night and watch the news and get so upset about what we're seeing in the world but we don't get up and engage in it and try to infuse this world with our essence," says Booker.

URI does not keep records on how many of its graduates have jobs lined up. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the jobless rate among people aged 20 to 24 is 15 percent.

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