Abbott is a 1976 graduate of Duncanville High.
Extra security was on hand; the governor's appearance was a surprise to many since it wasn't announced until a few days ago and there.
Abbott told students that life will undoubtedly throw challenges their way.
There are 829 graduates, 46 percent of which are continuing onto college.
Abbott got many cheers when he was announced, saying that he is proud to be the first Texas governor from Duncanville High. He also got a standing ovation after his speech.
A few weeks ago, there were protests and even a petition ahead of his commencement address at UNT.