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The Best of Commencement Speeches: Highlights 2019

Posted on Aug 26, 2019
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Graduation is an exciting moment for every student. Your months of hard work and sleepless nights have finally paid off. And one of the best parts about the graduation ceremony is the commencement speeches. Wrapping up the academic year and celebrating the new chapter of your life is the persistent theme of the commencement speeches. Universities often invite famous personalities and celebrities to do the honors of commemorating the graduates for their hard work and share some words of wisdom. Here are some highlights from the commencement speeches from 2019 graduation ceremonies.

  1. 1. Oprah Winfrey – Colorado College
  2. You can count on Oprah to deliver a hilarious statement with veiled wisdom. Here is what the media Moghul had to say about building your personality and making dreams come true.
    “Yes, it does pay to floss. Yes, you need to look at people in the eye when you speak to them. You need to keep your commitments, you need to make your bed every day because when you do, it makes your whole house look better.”
    I’m here to tell you that your life isn’t some big break like everybody tells you that is. It’s about taking one big life-transforming step at a time,” said Winfrey. “But the truth is you cannot fix everything. What you can do here and now is make a decision — because life is about decisions — and the decision that you can make is to use your life in service.”

  3. 2. John Krasinski – Brown University
  4. John Krasinski, best known for his role of Jim Halpert in The Office and his recent award-winning film, The Quiet Place returned to his alma mater to share some quick career tips.
    “One of the best decisions I made in my life was just to lean all the way in … People ask me how I got into acting, and the truth is, I didn’t get into acting. I got into everything … For the next four years, I wanted to be part of it all, I formed a new way of thinking. A new way of executing those thoughts. I left my comfort zone and then stayed there, and left again. I experienced firsthand the powerful shift in doing something out of love, rather than necessity.”

  5. 3. Jeffrey Goldberg – Johns Hopkins University
  6. American Journalist and the Editor-in-Chief of The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg, delivered a rousing speech to the graduates of John Hopkins in the pursuit of seeking the truth and fighting disinformation.
    “This university is one of the most indispensably important knowledge-producing institutions in the world. It is your responsibility, as soon-to-be-graduates of this great center of knowledge, not to ignore this phenomenon, but to fight it at every turn. By fighting disinformation, by fighting for the truth, you will invest the degrees that you are receiving with true meaning.”

  7. 4. Tim Cook- Tulane University
  8. Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple Inc. gave a stirring speech on challenging the older generations and learning from their mistakes. Addressing the young graduates, he said-
    “In some important ways, my generation has failed you. We spent too much time debating, too focused on the fight and not enough on progress.”
    “If you find yourself spending more time fighting than getting to work, stop and ask yourself, ‘Who benefits from all the chaos? There are some who would like to believe that the only way you can be strong is by bulldozing those who disagree with you… We forget sometimes that our pre-existing beliefs have their own force of gravity. Today, certain algorithms pull you towards things that you already know, believe or like. And they push away everything else. Push back! It shouldn’t be this way.”

  9. 5. Katie Holmes- University of Toledo
  10. Actress Katie Holmes, originally from Toledo shared some sweet and cheeky personal bits of advice at the University of Toledo commencement speech on May 5.
    “Don’t be intimidated about that first job or internship or audition. And if you get it, well I have some tips for what you’ll need when you’re first starting out. If people believe in you, it makes you want to believe in yourself, and vice versa. People react to your confidence. I’ve been tricking folks for years into believing I’m other characters, and I haven’t gotten caught yet! Guys, it’s all fake!”
    “For the young women in the audience, I want to encourage you to lift up, listen to, and trust one another … Especially now, women supporting women could not be more important”