American literary critic, author and scholar, William Lyon Phelps ( 1865 – 1943) was a professor of English at Yale University from 1901 to 1933, where he taught a course on the Modern Novel. In a radio broadcast on April 6, 1933, he delivered “The Pleasure of Books” speech:
The habit of reading is one of the greatest resources of mankind; and we enjoy reading books that belong to us much more than if they are borrowed. A borrowed book is like a guest in the house; it must be treated with punctiliousness, with a certain considerate formality. You must see that it sustains no damage; it must not suffer while under your roof. You cannot leave it carelessly, you cannot mark it, you cannot turn down the pages, you cannot use it familiarly. And then, some day, although this is seldom done, you really ought to return it.
“Change is the effort of committed citizens who hitch their wagons to something bigger than themselves and fight for it every single day.”
President Barack Obama delivered the commencement address to the 2016 graduating class of Howard University. He challenged the graduates to serve as “seeds of change” for social and political justice in America.
American actor and Howard University alumnus Chadwick Boseman delivered an inspiring speech to the 2018 graduating students at Howard University’s 150th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 12 in Washington, D.C.
American actress Viola Davis, star of ABC’s critically acclaimed show “How to Get Away with Murder,” delivered the keynote address to the Class of 2019 at Barnard’s 127th Commencement on Monday, May 20, 2019 at Radio City Music Hall. She spoke about America’s complicated history, rising above childhood poverty, and making it against all odds.
American singer-songwriter and 11-times Grammy Award Winner Taylor Swift delivered the commencement speech to the graduating students of New York University. Taylor was awarded an honorary doctorate degree wherein she spoke about embracing your struggles and owning your mistakes.
Taylor Swift’s 2022 New York University Commencement Speech Transcript:
American actress and Stanford University Almuna (Class of 2007) Issa Rae, delivered the Commencement Address at the senior Class of 2021 ceremony of Stanford’s 130th Commencement on June 12, 2021. Rae analyzed Foxx and Webbie’s “Wipe Me Down” remix lyrics “I pull up at the club VIP, gas tank on E, but all dranks on ME. Wipe Me Down.” as the theme of her speech. She spoke about the importance of building a network and paying it forward.
Enjoy the process of your search without succumbing to the pressure of the result. Trust your gut, keep throwing darts at the dartboard. Don’t listen to the critics and you will figure it out.
American comedic actor and USC alumni Will Ferrell delivered the 134th commencement address at the University of Southern California on May 12, 2017. Ferrell spoke about the value of working on your craft, trusting your guts, ignoring the critics and failing forward.
Your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama delivered her final commencement speech as the First Lady of the United States of America to the City College of New York (CCNY) graduating students. Michelle’s speech was very inspiring and full of insights. She had some of the graduates chanting “Four more years”.
Michelle Obama’s 2016 City College of New York Commencement Speech Transcript:
On May 13, 2009, President Barrack Obama delivered the commencement address to the graduating students of Arizona State University. Obama advised the graduands not to rest on their laurels, to think long-term, the importance of building a body of work, and pursuing their passion in order to contribute to a better world.
President Obama delivered the commencement address to the 2013 graduates of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He advised the graduands to be role models, be an example by their actions, and take responsibility for their lives.