She urged graduates to think not just of their careers but also their country as well.
"Our country is counting on all of you to step forward and help us with the work that remains, "Obama said.
She reminded the graduates about some of A&T's most famous students: "The Greensboro Four" who are said to have officially kicked off the Civil Rights movement.
In early 1960, four students from what was then called the Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina defiantly sat down at the Woolworth's lunch counter, ordered coffee, and refused to leave when asked.
"That's what they were fighting for," said Obama. "That's why they sat down on those stools. They were fighting, so all of you and me could have the opportunities they couldn't imagine."
Rousing the crowd to its feet, her commencement speech urged graduates to actively participate in their community and the nation's democracy.
"We need you to ask yourselves, 'How can I help?'' she said. "Immerse yourself with information, become familiar with your elected representative. Vote. Not just once in a while, but in every year, every election, and even better, run for a seat at the table yourself."
The First Lady's words of encouragement marked yet another commencement speech in what is considered a battleground state for her husband, President Barack Obama.