Gabriel Gore '94 Delivers Missouri State Commencement Address

Excerpted from

Gabriel Gore, a St. Louis attorney and a former federal prosecutor, told 481 graduates Friday that when he graduated from Missouri State University 21 years ago neither he nor his classmates foresaw how much the world would change and what opportunities lie ahead.

“None of us had ever sent an email or text message,” said Gore, 43. “We had never been to Starbucks. All of us had Blockbuster movie rental cards.”

In other words, get ready for change and the opportunity that rides its wake, Gore advised.

“The rumors of the demise of the American dream have been greatly exaggerated,” he said.

“Twenty years from now, will you have been part of building the next great American company, like Google, Netflix or Starbucks?”

This was the first commencement speech Gore has given. He said he was honored by the invitation and believes he was asked, at least in part, because he volunteered in 2010 to serve on a MSU presidential search committee.

Gore said Thursday the objective of his speech would be to inspire — in less than 15 minutes. He wrapped up his message in 13 minutes and 29 seconds. Summer commencement was held in the John Q. Hammons Arena.

In preparation, he said, he had studied the commencement speeches of others.

“If you’re a lawyer and you’re drafting briefs you’re going to decide, ‘Let me take a look at other briefs that people have drafted on this issue,’” he said.

Gore graduated from the University of Chicago Law School; clerked for a federal judge; and was hired by U.S. Attorney Ed Dowd in St. Louis. In 1999 Gore was an assistant special counsel in a federal investigation of the 1993 shootout at the Branch Davidian complex in Waco, Texas, where four federal agents and six members of the religious group died.

Dowd went into private practice and hired Gore, who successfully defended Hilary Clinton in a defamation lawsuit brought by Gennifer Flowers, who allegedly had a sexual relationship with Bill Clinton while he was Arkansas governor.

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