Speaking at the school's Class Day ceremony in New Haven, Conn., Kerry noted the record diversity in this year's crop of graduates.
"You are graduating today as the most diverse class in Yale’s long history," Kerry said, according to a transcript provided by the State Department. "Or as they call it in the NBA, Donald Sterling’s worst nightmare."
The line drew laughter and applause, but the speech also contained a commentary on contemporary affairs, with Kerry lamenting the lack of political action on climate change and immigration reform.
"What should be clear to everyone – and it’s perhaps what makes our current predicament, frankly, so frustrating – is that none of our problems are without solutions," Kerry, a 1966 Yale graduate, told the students. "None of them. But neither will they solve themselves. So for all of us, it’s really a question of willpower, not capacity."
Kerry posed for a selfie with Yale student Ariel Kirshenbaum during the ceremony (shown above).
Following his speech, Kerry tweeted a photo of himself outside of Frank Pepe Pizzeria in New Haven.
I was hungry after #Yale2014 Class Day ceremonies - picked up a few pies to go on my way out! pic.twitter.com/HNUkafztRl
— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) May 19, 2014