It’s May, and you know what that means! It’s the time of year when celebrities speak at college commencement ceremonies, leaving us with some memorable graduation speech quotes.
Commencement speakers range from hilarious comedians to serious politicians. That’s why it should come as no surprise that some graduation speech quotes are funny, while others are inspiring. Check out our list of the best graduation speech quotes this year, and prepare to be both moved and entertained.
Matthew McConaughey, University of Houston
If you’ve been paying attention to this actor’s most recent movies, you know he plays quirky roles really well. So his graduation speech quote seemed fitting:
“Let’s admit it, we all got two wolves in us, a good one and a bad one, you know what I’m talking about—and they BOTH wanna eat…We just gotta feed that good wolf a little more than the other one.”
David Muir, Northeastern University
This famous news anchor incorporated his job into the inspiring speech he delivered at Northeastern University’s graduation ceremony:
“I simply ask all of you here today to go out there after today, and help me report. Go out there, and discover the world that awaits, find the opportunities. Don’t forget to let others know about the people in need that you meet along the way.”
Ed Helms, University of Virginia
Surprisingly, this comedian’s best quote from his graduation speech was more inspiring than funny, though he did have a little help from a well-known song:
“Each and every one of you has a vibrant, courageous soul, and a depth of power, creativity and wisdom you are only just beginning to tap into. That is your light. It is the light within you, and you have to let it shine because when you do, I promise, it will illuminate you, your family, your friends, your community, your country, and the entire world. Don’t let that light die. Every day wake up and say to yourself, ‘This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.’”
Maya Rudolph, Tulane University
This comedian stuck with her usual funny attitude when delivering her speech at Tulane University, where her cousin was graduating that day. But she did end on a slightly more serious note:
“If I could give my 21 year old self any advice it would be take as many bikini photos as you can now because your body is smokin’ hot. And it will not be this bangin’ after childbirth. But seriously, if I could give my 21 year old self the advice I’m giving you today and if I had a time machine, well first I would go back in time and invent the iPhone, cause I think I could make a ton of money. So if I must give any of you advice it would be Say Yes. Say Yes, And… and create your own destiny.”
Katie Couric, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Taking career advice from a pretty successful journalist seems like a good idea. That’s why new graduates should heed what Katie Couric had to say about finding a job after college:
“A fulfilling professional life can be found at the intersection of what you love and what you’re good at. And when you think you’ve discovered it, go at it full-throttle…Finding the right work takes work and time. But don’t wait forever to find your bliss or you may find yourself 30 and living in your parents’ basement eating microwave popcorn and binge-watching re-runs of The O.C.”
Bill Nye, Rutgers University
This famous scientist doled out some good advice that recent college graduates should find useful in life:
“If you smell fresh paint, don’t walk under the ladder. Wear good shoes in a thumbtack factory. And, don’t try to smoke in the rain. In fact, don’t smoke at all, ever. Here’s an unusual one: If you’re going to get a bucket of water dumped over your head for any reason, untuck your shirt. You might not think it would make much difference. A cotton shirt like this one is hydrophilic. Water is going to stick to it. True enough, but a shirttail, even a water-loving one, directs a great deal of the torrent around your waistband. So, you get a lot less cold water in your trousers and skirt.”
Did you hear any great graduation speech quotes this year? Let us know!