Sterling K. Brown, Mindy Kaling, and more of 2018’s most inspiring celebrity graduation speeches
Sterling K. Brown (Stanford University, June 17, 2018)
Memorable Quote: "If you still fool yourself into thinking the end point of perfection is something that exists, and can be attained, I worry that you may miss the beautiful curve of a life well lived, never enjoying where you are in the moment, always wishing you were someplace, something, or someone else. In conclusion … Fear can be a great motivator, so long as it doesn’t overcome your desire to move forward."
Mindy Kaling (Dartmouth University, June 10, 2018)
Memorable Quote: "So I just want to tell you guys, don’t be scared if you don’t do things in the right order, or if you don’t do some things at all. I didn’t think I’d have a child before I got married, but hey, it turned out that way, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I didn’t think I’d have dessert before breakfast today, but hey, it turned out that way and I wouldn’t change a thing."
Jimmy Fallon (Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, June 3, 2018)
Memorable Quote: "Keep making good choices. I’m not saying it because you need to learn it. I’m saying it because you already taught it to all of us. I can’t promise that life will be easy, but if you make good choices and keep moving forward, I can promise that it will get better in ways you haven’t even thought of."
Vin Diesel (Hunter College, May 30, 2018)
Memorable Quote: "We’re strivers. We can overcome anything. You learn that here and you take into the world. And then you can look at Hollywood and change the face of Hollywood. You can literally change the face of Hollywood because of that dignity and pride and willingness to fight."
Chadwick Boseman (Howard University, May 12, 2018)
Memorable Quote: "When you are deciding on next steps, next jobs, next careers, further education, you should rather find purpose than a job or a career. Purpose crosses disciplines. Purpose is an essential element of you."
Oprah Winfrey (USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, May 11, 2018)
Memorable Quote: "Vote. Vote. Vote. Pay attention to what the people who claim to represent you are doing and saying in your name and on your behalf. They represent you and if they’ve not done right by you or if their policies are at odds with your core beliefs, then you have a responsibility to send them packing."
Jennifer Nettles (Agnes Scott College, May 12, 2018)
Memorable Quote: "I want you to be the boss ladies of your own lives. I want you to live authentically in your truth. I want you to be so in touch with your truth that nothing can pull you off of your path. I want you to live in the marrow, in the richness, to walk the edge of the knife called life."
Michael Keaton (Kent State University, May 12, 2018)
Memorable Quote: "I'm Batman."
Chance the Rapper (Dillard University, May 12, 2018)
Memorable Quote: "All of us have a responsibility to be greater than the people who came before us... We have a responsibility to be not as good as them or live up to their example, but to actually surpass them, even when it seems scary. We have to overcome that fear and be greater than our role models."
Cynthia Nixon (Helene Fuld College of Nursing, May 4, 2018)
Memorable Quote: "When you stand up with courage, what you can achieve may surprise even you. And that's what I want to share with you here today: never doubt that you can make a space big enough for yourself in this world."
Josh Groban (High Point University, May 5, 2018)
Memorable Quote: “You learn with experience that some fear is the good stuff. Not all. But when the fear comes from a place of wanting to follow through with passion – something you believe in, it’s good. When it comes to your future experiences, as you enter the world with your knowledge and excitement, as you choose opportunities, always remember: if you aren’t scared, be worried.”
Ronan Farrow (Loyola Marymount University, May 5, 2018)
Memorable Quote: "You will face a moment in your career where you have absolutely no idea what to do. Where it will be totally unclear to you what the right thing is for you, for your family, for your community... And I hope that in that moment you’ll be generous with yourself, but trust that inner voice. Because more than ever we need people to be guided by their own senses of principle — and not the whims of a culture that prizes ambition, and sensationalism, and celebrity, and vulgarity, and doing whatever it takes to win."
Alexander Payne (University of Nebraska – Lincoln, May 5, 2018)
Memorable Quote: "Don’t die with regrets. You’ll regret it. P.S.: Go, Scott Frost! Go, Scott Frost!"
David Muir (University of Wisconsin, May 12, 2018)
Memorable Quote: "You will never forget what happened in the world while you were a student here, the election you witnessed. And one thing I’ve learned from the news these last couple of years is that when you get a chance to come to Wisconsin, you definitely come."
Tim Cook (Duke University, May 13, 2018)
Memorable Quote: "I believe mindset comes naturally to young people. And you should never let go of this restlessness. So today's ceremony isn't just about presenting you with a degree. It is about presenting you with a question. How will you challenge the status quo? How will you push the world forward?"
Connie Britton (USC School of Dramatic Arts, May 11, 2018)
Memorable Quote: "Respect your artistry. Respect your uniqueness. Let it and your fears and dreams carry you to serve as a storyteller, life-reflecter, human."
William Shatner (New England Institute of Technology, May 6, 2018)
Memorable Quote: "You've been given a piece of paper that represents a lot of hard work, your degree, and if you roll that piece of paper up and hold it to your eye, it becomes a telescope. A telescope of hope. You can fixate on the future and look at what you want with focus and precision and concentration."
Queen Latifah (Rutgers University − Newark, May 14, 2018)
Memorable Quote: "Class of 2018, you need to keep searching for a role model? No. You are the role model. Now go out there and make a difference. Be that difference."
Hillary Clinton (Yale University, May 20, 2018)
Memorable Quote: "This is a battle hardened to hope, tempered by loss and clear-eyed about the stakes. We are standing up to policies that hurt people. We're standing up for all people being treated with dignity. The fact that some days it is so hard to keep at it, just makes it that much more remarkable that so many of us are in fact keeping at it."
Jake Tapper (UMass Amherst, May 11, 2018)
Memorable Quote: “Avoid the masses, love what you do, love who you are, be nice to each other, embrace the humanity of everyone — especially those you don’t understand."
Justin Trudeau (New York University, May 16, 2018)
Memorable Quote: "Do you want to win an argument, or do you want to change the world?"
Jesmyn Ward (Tulane University, May 19, 2018)
Memorable Quote: "Real success requires step after step after step after step. It requires choice after choice, it demands education and passion and commitment and persistence and hunger and patience."
Andrea Mitchell (University of Pennsylvania, May 14, 2018)
Memorable Quote: "Be open-minded. Never stop learning."
U.S. Rep. John Lewis (Harvard University, May 24, 2018)
Memorable Quote: "My philosophy is very simple: when you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, stand up. Speak up, and speak out!"
Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (Governor's Academy, May 27, 2018)
Memorable Quote: "No matter where you end up, please never underestimate the power of each of you to make a choice to choose to make a difference."
Sheryl Sandberg (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, June 8, 2018)
Memorable Quote: "The fact that the challenges we face are not new does not make them less pressing. Like the generations before us, we have to solve the problems that our technology brings. I believe there are three ways we can deal with these challenges. We can retreat in fear. We can barrel ahead with a single-minded belief in our technology. Or we can fight like hell to do all the good we can, knowing that what we build will be used by people — and people are capable of great beauty and great cruelty."
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Harvard University, May 23, 2018)
Memorable Quote: "It is hard to tell ourselves the truth about our failures, our fragilities, our uncertainties. It is hard to tell ourselves that maybe we haven’t done the best that we can. It is hard to tell ourselves the truth of our emotions, that maybe what we feel is hurt rather than anger, that maybe it is time to close the chapter of a relationship and walk away. And yet, when we do, we are the better off for it."