May 20, 2013

Graduation Speeches


Maggie: They are words meant to last a lifetime…

President Barack Obama: Members of the class of 2013, you are heirs to a great legacy.

Maggie: …From presidents current and past…

President Bill Clinton: How great it is for me to be here at Howard.

Maggie: …From actors…

Kerry Washington: You’re thinking we are celebrating our academic and intellectual achievement with that lady who’s having an affair with the president on that TV show. I know! I get it.

Maggie: …And comedians.

Stephen Colbert: Tweeting your Vines, hashtagging your Spotifys and Snapchatting your YOLOs. Your generation needs everything to be about you.

Maggie: All those accomplished people offering advice and encouragement to the class of 2013.

President Obama was yesterday’s commencement speaker at Morehouse College, the historic, all-black, male college whose alumni include the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

President Obama: Whatever success I have achieved. Whatever positions of leadership I have held have depended less on Ivy League degrees or SAT scores or GPAs, and have instead been due to that sense of connection and empathy, the special obligation I felt, as a black man like you, to help those who needed it most.

Maggie: And at a school named for Dr. King in Nashville, Tennessee, a lucky group of high school seniors were inspired by the first lady.

Michelle Obama: Resilience and grit, that ability to pick yourself up when you fall. Those are some of the most important skills you’ll need as you make your way through college and through life.

Maggie: Over the next few weeks, other grads will hear from Hangover actor Ed Helms, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Oprah Winfrey.

And today’s commencement speakers know that, with online sharing, their words of wisdom can inspire millions more. In fact, two speakers landed book deals last year after their commencement speeches went viral.

Scott, back to you.


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