The commencement ceremony affirms each student’s search for knowledge. It often includes a graduation speech which seeks to put their recent hard (or not so hard) work into the context of their future. Many of us hear one or two commencement addresses as graduates or listen to a handful as spectators. Yet — as we graduate from one year to another, one relationship to another, one experience to another — we always are learning.
Though these myriad departures and arrivals of everyday existence are seldom met with ceremony, words traditionally reserved for momentous occasions may ring true and inspirational at any hour. That’s why we created this unique archive of commencement addresses, selecting an eclectic menu of twenty nine extraordinary speeches from the thousands that we have reviewed since beginning work on this initiative in 1989.
Though some of these wonderful remarks were given decades ago, we believe they are as relevant and important, perhaps increasingly so, as the more current speeches. Thus we encourage you to read them all, recognizing and celebrating your own constant commencement into tomorrow, finding ways to place it firmly within the context of progress for all humankind.