Rock star Sting addresses Brown grads, optimism for the future

By: Chloe Leshner

cleshner@abc6.com

@ChloeLeshner

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Hundreds of students entered the "real world" Sunday as the 250th graduating class of Brown University. The ceremony had all of the pomp and circumstance you’d expect with inspiring student speakers but it also had a fun twist, when rock star Sting took the mic.

Rock and roll legend Sting serenaded the Brown University class of 2018 moments after receiving an honorary degree alongside his wife Trudie Styler.

"I’m so honored to receive this scarf which I’ve needed all morning, thank you," he said.

Aside from cracking a few jokes, Sting spoke about what brought him to the United States and chasing the American Dream.

"The American Dream is not exclusively American. The whole world looks to you for leadership and when that leadership is found wanting, the whole world suffers," said Sting.

As to be expected, the student speakers also touched on politics and important issues like race and gender, 1 noting that the world they’re graduating into seems to be more divided than ever.

"Now is not the time to give up on each other. Instead it’s time to build bridges," said graduate Lexi Lerner.

That confidence in the future, rubbed off on the crowd.

"I’m optimistic this morning because I’ve taken part in this joyous celebration of diversity. The future is yours and I’m much more optimistic today than I was yesterday so thank you for that," says Sting.

Five others received honorary degrees including the founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and the CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights.

(C) WLNE/ABC 6 2018