Clinton opened the talk by talking about former North Carolina State Women's basketball coach Kay Yow. Clinton said he's a fanatical basketball fan and "admired her enormously." Clinton's mother died of breast cancer, the same disease that claimed Yow.
"I lost my mother to breast cancer, and we should live every day the way she lived with her illness," Clinton offered.
The speech was part of NC State's Millennium Seminar series. The university says the events give its students "opportunities to interact with world leaders from diverse professional and personal backgrounds."
This year's theme is Innovation, Leadership and Higher Education. Previous speakers include Donna Shalala, Robert Reich, and Charlie Rose.
It's been a busy couple of weeks for Clinton. His wife is the new Secretary of State, and he was part of President Obama's inauguration ceremony in Washington. While in Raleigh, he also attended a fundraiser for North Carolina Congressman Heath Shuler.