Messages from the class of 2017

Losing the 2016 presidential election was “pretty devastating, especially considering who I lost to,” Hillary Clinton told graduates of Medgar Evers College on Thursday, June 8.

But Clinton said that setback “pales in comparison” to the heartbreak endured by Myrlie Evers-Williams, the widow of the slain black civil rights leader for whom the Brooklyn college is named.

Clinton urged the graduates to follow the example of Evers, who was assassinated in 1963, and of Evers-Williams, who has continued to fight for civil rights for more than 50 years.

“Never let anyone silence your voice,” Clinton said. “Medgar Evers faced constant threats because of his work. His house was firebombed by white supremacists. But he refused to back down.”

Medgar Evers College is part of the public City University of New York system, the largest urban university in the United States. (AP)

Here’s a look at mortar boards decorated and worn by the class of 2017 on graduation day.

Photography by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Tumblr.

Combination photo shows graduates’ mortar board hats

This combination photo shows graduates’ mortar board hats emblazoned with decorations and sayings during a commencement for Medgar Evers College in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, June 8, 2017. (Photo: Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

Graduates at commencement for Medgar Evers College

Graduates look at the screen during a commencement for Medgar Evers College in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, U.S., June 8, 2017. (Photo: Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

‘Class of 2017’

A graduate’s mortar board hat is pictured during a commencement for Medgar Evers College in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, June 8, 2017. (Photo: Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

‘2 teach is 2 touch a life 4 ever’

A graduate’s mortar board hat is pictured during a commencement for Medgar Evers College in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, June 8, 2017. (Photo: Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

‘Level up’

A graduate’s mortar board hat is pictured during a commencement for Medgar Evers College in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, June 8, 2017. (Photo: Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

‘Buy me a drink’

A graduate’s mortar board hat is pictured during a commencement for Medgar Evers College in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, June 8, 2017. (Photo: Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

‘Psyched I did it!’

A graduate’s mortar board hat is pictured during a commencement for Medgar Evers College in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, June 8, 2017. (Photo: Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

‘Very black, very proud, so 2017 CUNY’

A graduate’s mortar board hat is pictured during a commencement for Medgar Evers College in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, June 8, 2017. (Photo: Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

A graduate’s decorated mortar board hat

A graduate’s mortar board hat is pictured during a commencement for Medgar Evers College in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, June 8, 2017. (Photo: Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

‘You can’t tell me about struggle because I’m a Knicks fan and a biology major!!!’

A graduate’s mortar board hat is pictured during a commencement for Medgar Evers College in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, June 8, 2017. (Photo: Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

‘Don’t make me use my teacher voice’

A graduate’s mortar board hat is pictured during a commencement for Medgar Evers College in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, June 8, 2017. (Photo: Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

‘To be conintued’

A graduate’s mortar board hat is pictured during a commencement for Medgar Evers College in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, June 8, 2017. (Photo: Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

‘I finally got the “D”‘

A graduate’s mortar board hat is pictured during a commencement for Medgar Evers College in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, June 8, 2017. (Photo: Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

‘Like who would not want a girl with elegance, intelligence and a cute way of presenting it’

A graduate’s mortar board hat is pictured during a commencement for Medgar Evers College in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, June 8, 2017. (Photo: Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

A graduate’s mortar board hat is pictured during a commencement for Medgar Evers College in the Brooklyn borough of New York City

A graduate’s mortar board hat is pictured during a commencement for Medgar Evers College in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, June 8, 2017. (Photo: Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

A graduate’s mortar board hat is pictured during a commencement for Medgar Evers College in the Brooklyn borough of New York City

A graduate’s mortar board hat is pictured during a commencement for Medgar Evers College in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, June 8, 2017. (Photo: Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

A graduate’s mortar board hat is pictured during a commencement for Medgar Evers College in the Brooklyn borough of New York City

A graduate’s mortar board hat is pictured during a commencement for Medgar Evers College in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, June 8, 2017. (Photo: Carlo Allegri/Reuters)