Since it’s graduation season, it’s the perfect time to share some words of wisdom. Many American colleges and universities have celebrities give commencement speeches to the graduating class. Here are some notable quotes taken from celebrity grad speeches in 2017.
Oprah Winfrey- Agnes Scott College
Oprah is an inspiration for many young people. Her speech to the Agnes Scott College class of 2017 shows just why so many people look up to her. She gave graduates some insightful advice. “You’re nothing if you’re not the truth. I’ve made a living, I’ve made a life, I’ve made a fortune — really it’s fantastic — from being true to myself and, if I could leave you with any message today, that is it. The biggest reward is not financial benefits, though it’s really good…. but those of you who have a lot of shoes know that having great shoes and a closet full of shoes or cars or houses or square footage doesn’t fill up your life. It doesn’t. But living a life of substance can. Substance through your service. Your offering of your whole self. And the baseline for ‘How do you live a life of substance?’ is whatever is the truth for you. What do you stand for?” Very powerful!
Octavia Spencer- Kent State University
The actress told the Kent State class of 2017 that she hopes curiosity stays with them as they begin the next chapter of their lives. “It’s my deepest hope that the curiosity that has guided you here continues to be a guiding light in your life. Represent your own curiosities to the world. Point the way forward for future graduates. Keep moving people, keep reading, keep nourishing what makes your voice unique and defend it for yourself and for others.”
Pharrell Williams- New York University
The actor, singer, songwriter and producer encouraged New York University grads to be proud of their achievements. “Engage and inspire whether on an individual level or loudly within your communities. Talk about your accomplishments, it's very important. Be humble, but not too humble. Don't be invisible," he said. "How can we inspire if we are only behind the scenes?”
Arnold Schwarzenegger- University of Houston
As an actor, former bodybuilder and politician, Arnold has had a lot of success. He let University of Houston graduates know that he wouldn’t be where he is today without the help of others. He stressed that it’s important to remember that you don’t make it on your own. “As soon as you understand that you are here because of a lot of help, then you also understand that now is time to help others. That's what this is all about. You got to help others. Don't just think about yourself. Help others.”
Mark Zuckerberg- Harvard University
As a former Harvard student himself, Zuckerberg gave the perfect alumni speech. He lightened the mood by giving some dating advice and making a few jokes. One key takeaway from his speech is when he told the graduates that they need to find their purpose. “You’re graduating at a time when this is especially important. When our parents graduated, purpose reliably came from your job, your church, your community…. to keep our society moving forward, we have a generational challenge — to not only create new jobs, but create a renewed sense of purpose.” He concluded by naming some ways millennials can make a difference in the world; through charities, helping those in need and helping their communities.
Helen Mirren- Tulane University
The actress made a lot of jokes throughout her speech; however, it was these words that really stood out from her speech. “We’re all in this together — remember that, so that you can make some sense out of and fix this crazy, crazy world… Your lives will be exciting, revelatory, awesome, in the truest sense of that word.”