7 MOST Influential Commencement Speeches Of All Time

2 years ago



A commencement speech is an important part of every college graduation ceremony. Previously, the Typical Student team told you about 4 SCANDALOUS Celebrities to Give Commencement Speeches at US Universities. This time, we've picked the most memorable quotes from the commencement speeches made by famous people. Check out these priceless nuggets of wisdom!


#1 John F. Kennedy's speech at American University (1963)

 "Our problems are manmade — therefore, they can be solved by man."

Read the transcript and watch the video:



#2 Kurt Vonnegut's speech at Agnes Scott College (1999)

"We can learn to live without the sick excitement, without the kick of having scores to settle."

Read the transcript and watch the video.


#3 Steve Jobs' speech at Stanford University (2005)

"Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose."

Read the transcript and watch the video.


#4 Oprah Winfrey's speech at Stanford (2008)

"If it doesn't feel right, don't do it." 

Read the speech transcript and watch the video: 



#5 J.K. Rowling's speech at Harvard University (2008)

"It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all — in which case, you fail by default." 

Read the transcript and watch the video:



#6 Stephen Colbert's speech at Northwestern University (2011)

"Life is an improvisation. You have no idea what's going to happen next and you are mostly just making things up as you go along."

Read the transcript and watch the video:



#7 Stephen Spielberg's speech at Harvard (2016)

"Your job is to create a world that lasts forever."

Read the transcript and watch the video:



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