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Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz Encourages Diversity in ASU Commencement Speech

May 9, 2017, 2:13 PM UTC

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz urged graduates to be compassionate and empathetic in a commencement address at Arizona State University.

“Summon your compassion, your curiosity, your empathy towards others and your commitment to service,” Schultz told the class of 2017 on Monday. “Give more than you receive, and I promise you it will come back to you in ways you can’t possibly imagine.”

The former CEO of Starbucks, who made headlines earlier this year by promising to hire 10,000 refugees in response to President Trump’s immigration ban, filled his address with calls for embracing diversity.

“Your generation can bring people together like no other,” he said. “You can innovate, create, and lead.”

Schultz also launched the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, which covered tuition for a bachelor’s degree at Arizona State’s online program. Of the students who graduated on Monday, 330 had received the benefit.