Best Commencement Speeches

  1. David Foster Wallace, 2005, Kenyon
    "This, like many clichés, so lame and unexciting on the surface, actually expresses a great and terrible truth" https://web.ics.purdue.edu/~drkelly/DFWKenyonAddress2005.pdf
  2. Amy Poehler, 2011, Havard
    "Friends, Romans, countrymen: lend me your beers" https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=T7N_L_pu74k
  3. Billy Collins, 2008, Colorado College
    "Let me assure all of you that the Future will never arrive and that no one has ever experienced it." www.graduationwisdom.com/speeches/0135-Billy-Collins-Gives-Brilliant-Witty-Commencement-Speech-Address-At-Colorado-College-2008.htm
  4. Conan O'Brien, 2000, Harvard
    "In 1985 we drove cars with driver’s-side air bags. But if you had told us that one day there would be passenger-side air bags, we’d have burned you for witchcraft." https://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/bspringe/Conan%20speech.doc
  5. Barack Obama, 2016, Howard University
    (He'll also be at my alma mater, Rutgers University this year) "That's a pet peeve of mine: People who have been successful and don’t realize they've been lucky." http://www.politico.com/story/2016/05/obamas-howard-commencement-transcript-222931#ixzz48OfZ0LYX
  6. Steve Jobs, 2005, Stanford
    "Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice" https://news.stanford.edu/2005/06/14/jobs-061505/
  7. Anders Holm, 2013, University of Wisconsin
    @Ders808 “Consider what people think of you, but don’t be afraid of what people think of you.” Also something about "French-kissing is my strong suit" https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=egmgt5Y-7bQ
  8. Mindy Kaling, 2014, Harvard Law School
    @mindy "My family's dream about a future unfettered by limitations dependent only on "what you know" and not by "who you know" was possible only in America. Their romance with this country is more romantic than any romantic comedy I could ever write."
  9. Russell Baker, 1995, Connecticut College
    "Good news, as you know, does not sell papers or keep millions glued to radios and TV screens." www.humanity.org/voices/commencements/russell-baker-connecticut-college-speech-1995