GROVE CITY, Pa. (WYTV) – Former Republican Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson spoke at Grove City College’s commencement ceremony on Saturday.

Even with a graduating class of just 595, it was a tight fit inside the gymnasium.

Greeted by applause and camera flashes, Carson was Grove City’s 136th commencement speaker. Several graduates were eager to hear the former candidate’s speech.

“I’m okay with him speaking, I’m looking forward to seeing what he has to say,” Manny Araujo said.

“I think it’s great. He’s really well-educated and I’m anxious to see what he has to say. I’m excited for it,” Adeli Brown said.

Carson was a last-minute add as the original commencement speaker, former U.S. Secretary of Education William Bennett, had to cancel for health reasons.

Carson’s education was a big topic in his address called, “The Power of Knowledge.” He told the audience about his rise from struggling in elementary school to eventually finding a passion for reading, thanks to his mother.

He said reading about successful people at a young age led him on his journey to becoming a pediatric neurosurgeon.

“You know, to be a physician, to have an opportunity to intervene in the lives of young people.”

Though Carson’s message on education was serious, he still kept the mood light with occasional jokes.

He wanted to leave the graduates with a message about success.

“Taking the talent that God has given us, developing that and using that to elevate our fellow man.”

It seemed that his speech on Saturday was pretty successful, as it was met with a standing ovation.

Carson received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the college for his medical contributions.