There is a good reason they call these ceremonies commencement
exercises. Graduation is not the end; it's the beginning.
All our dreams can come true...if we have the courage to
Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the
hearts of men.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Academe, n.: An ancient school where morality and philosophy
were taught. Academy, n.: A modern school where football is
The Devil's Dictionary
Always have a purpose in life that is beyond position and
Northeastern University, 2012
Work hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen.
Dartmouth College, 2011
A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.
Yesterday is gone, tomorrow may never come, but as long as
we have today, we can change the world.
Liberty University, 2010
The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate,
contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive
John F. Kennedy
Yale University, 1962
Your diploma does not represent the end of your education,
but the beginning of your continuing education.
University of Southern California, 2013
Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point
of life, but it is the work of life.
Jonathan Safran Foer
Middlebury College, 2013
Live all of your life. Understand it, see it, appreciate
it. And have fun.
Wesleyan University, 2013
Believe anything is possible and then work like hell to make
Sarah Lawrence College, 2010
Commencement speeches were invented largely in the belief
that outgoing college students should never be released into
the world until they have been properly sedated.
Our country doesnt depend on the heroism of every citizen.
But all of us should be worthy of the sacrifices made on our
Liberty University, 2006
Insist on heroes. And be one.
Georgetown University, 2006
Become goddesses of disobedience.
Scripps College, 1992
All successful people men and women are big dreamers. They
imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect,
and then they work every day toward their distant vision,
that goal or purpose.
At commencement you wear your square-shaped mortarboards.
My hope is that from time to time you will let your minds
be bold, and wear sombreros.
A graduation ceremony is an event where the commencement
speaker tells thousands of students dressed in identical caps
and gowns that 'individuality' is the key to success.
Live in that sweet spot. Be present.
Creativity is a renewable resource. Be as creative as you
like, as often as you like, because you can never run out!
I was blessed with a mother who was in a constant state of
wonder...And whenever I'd complain or be upset about something,
my mother had the same advice: "Darling, change the channel.
You are in control of the clicker. Don't replay the bad, scary
And the corollary to carpe diem is gratitude, gratitude for
simply being alive, for having a day to seize. The taking
of breath, the beating of the heart. Gratitude for the natural
world around us the massing clouds, the white ibis
by the shore. In Barcelona a poetry competition is held every
year. There are three prizes: The third prize is a rose made
of silver, the second prize is a golden rose, and the first
prize: a rose. A real rose. The flower itself. Think of that
the next time the term priorities comes up.
To be your own person, you need good friends. Friends are
the treasure of your life.
You have nothing to lose. Everything you have acquired of
value is locked inside you.
You get to make your own luck. 80% of success in your career
will come from just showing up. The world is run by those
who show up
not those who wait to be asked.
By all reckoning, the bumblebee is aerodynamically unsound
and shouldnt be able to fly. Yet, the little bee gets
those wings going like a turbo-jet and flies to every plant
its chubby little body can land on to collect all the nectar
it can hold. Bumblebees are the most persistent creatures.
They dont know they cant fly, so they just keep
buzzing around. Like the lowly bumblebee, honored graduates,
never give in to pessimism. Dont know that you cant
fly, and you will soar like an eagle.
Respect people with less power then you. I dont care
if youre the most powerful cat in the room, I will judge
you on how you treat the least powerful. So there.
Life has a very simple plot: first you're here and then you're