Former Presidential staff member gives Paine College graduation speech

News 12 at 11/ Sunday, May 12, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- A week that should have been focused on exams and the countdown to graduation instead revolved around two shootings on the Paine College campus. But Sunday, all eyes were on one man and the words he had for the graduates.

Visiting all the way from Washington D.C., former senior official to the Obama administration Anton Gunn gave the commencement speech.

It was a big day for graduates with a big name speaker. A man who used to advise the President, today gave advice to Paine College grads.

"That's one of the reasons I came here, to celebrate how these graduates who are graduating from college are moving into the next phase of their lives and to try to give them those things I wish I got on graduation day, what I wish I would have heard. Those pieces of advice," Gunn said, former Director of the Office of External Affairs at U.S Dept of Health and Human Services.

On the heels of a tough week, Gunn says the college should be proud.

"Thre's no perfect church. There's no perfect college, no perfect organization, no perfect business. There are always going to be bad actors, but what you have at Paine is you have leadership who has responded to those bad actors in a way to protect the interest of the other sutdents in the community around that campus, and that's what everybody should be excited about," he said.

As he celebrates the accomplishments of these students, we asked him about some milestones of his own. Gunn was at the forefront of the Affordable Care Act.

"The Affordable Care Act is a game changer because here's one thing that's really clear about healthcare. If you're not healthy in your mind, if you're not healthy in your body, how can you fully contribute all that God has given you to do for your family? For your community? For your company, the job you work for, or business that you own?" Gunn asked.

Even though it hasn't seen the same success in Georgia that is has in many other states, Gunn says this law is around to stay.

"In 20 years we'll be saying, 'What took our country so long to find a way to provide access to health insurance coverage for our own people?'" he asked.