It’s Commencement Season! You have friends or family who have achieved one huge goal and and are entering into the next big thing in their lives.
Many of them will endure really dull commencement speeches. Others will hear powerful words they’ll never forget.
I wish I could remember who gave the Commencement Speech or what they said when I graduated from UCLA. Part of my disconnect was the acoustics – there were several thousand of us outside near an athletic field. And there were several thousand proud families and friends whose voices happily buzzed over the speaker.
Still, my Commencement from UCLA remains one of the happiest days of my life and my respect and love for UCLA grows stronger as time goes by (my husband says he hears the alumni donor relations office calling now…). In fact, it is my secret wish is to be a commencement speaker at UCLA one day.
No disrespect to my glorious alma mater, but in the absence of my own commencement speech memories, I’ve sought out 3 of the funniest and memorable ones to share with you.
Grab a cup of coffee or glass of wine and enjoy! I hope you will laugh and be inspired.
And remember, a sense of humor is still one of the best assets any graduate can take through life.
“I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”
“How will you serve the world? What do they need that your talent can provide? That’s all you have to figure out. As someone who has done what you are about to go do, I can tell you from experience, the effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is.”
“You can’t do it alone…as you navigate the rest of your life be open to collaboration.”
“Try putting your iPhones down every once in awhile and look at peoples’ faces.”
“Find a lot of people who challenge and inspire you and spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.”
“Other peoples’ ideas are often better than your own.”
“No one is here today because the did it on their own.”
“So my question I suppose is: What’s the big idea? What’s your big idea? What are you willing to spend your moral capital, your intellectual capital, your cash, your sweat equity in pursuing outside of the walls of the University of Pennsylvania?”
“There’s a truly great Irish poet his name is Brendan Kennelly, and he has this epic poem called the Book of Judas, and there’s a line in that poem that never leaves my mind, it says: “If you want to serve the age, betray it.” What does that mean to betray the age?”
Hope you enjoyed the videos of speeches!
One of my favorite humorists has never been asked to give a commencement speech – but you’ll still get a chuckle from Jon Acuff’s article 20 Things Nobody Tells You When You Graduate College.
Your turn: What was the most memorable commencement speech you ever heard or read? I would love for you to share with the rest of us in the Comments below!