7 Absolutely Epic Celebrity Commencement Speeches

by • October 2, 2013 • Advice, Inspirational, Life Lessons, Motivation, People, Quotes, Success, VideosComments (0)3659

College commencement speeches can vary wildly depending on the speaker. Sometimes they’re funny, sometimes thought-provoking, but almost always have at least some good advice and inspirational words.

Here are some of what I think are the most epic celebrity graduation commencement speeches ever given. Use their words to find success and motivation in all that you do.

Ellen DeGeneres speaking at Tulane in 2009

Notable quotes:

“It was so important for me to lose everything, because I found out the most important thing is to be true to yourself.”

“The most important thing in your life is to live your life with integrity and to not give in to peer pressure to try to be something that you’re not.”

Steve Jobs speaking at Stanford in 2005


Notable quotes:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”

Conan O’Brien speaking at Dartmouth in 2011

Notable quotes:

“There are few things more liberating in this life than having your worst fear realized.”

“It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique.”

J.K. Rowling speaking at Harvard in 2008

Notable quotes:

“Some failure in life is inevitable. 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.”

“We don’t need magic to transform our world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves. We have the power to imagine better.”

Oprah Winfrey speaking at Harvard in 2013

Notable quotes:

“Even though this is the college where Facebook was born, my hope is that you will try to go out and have more face to face conversations with people you disagree with. That you’ll have the courage to look them in the eye and hear their point of view and help make sure that the speed, and distance, and anonymity of our world doesn’t cause us to lose our ability to stand in someone else’s shoes and recognize all that we share as a people.”

“Learn from every mistake, because every experience, encounter, and particularly your mistakes, are there to teach you and force you into being more of who you are.”

Jon Stewart speaking at William and Mary in 2004

Notable quotes:

“College is something you complete, life is something you experience. Don’t worry about your grade, or the results, or success. Success is defined in myriad ways and you will find it and people will no longer be grading you. It will come from your own internal sense of decency.”

“How do you know what is the right path to choose to get the result that you desire? The honest answer is this – you won’t. And accepting that greatly eases the anxiety of your life experience.”

Denzel Washington speaking at the University of Pennsylvania in 2011

Notable quotes:

“Nothing in life is worthwhile unless you take risks. Nothing.”

“The chances you take, the people you meet, the people you love, the faith that you have – that’s what’s going to define you.”

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