Best Graduation Speeches

Here is a compilation of some of the greatest Graduation / Commencement Speeches by some really inspiring people. 

There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you.”
— JK Rowling

At her Harvard commencement speech, "Harry Potter" author JK Rowling offers some powerful, heartening advice to dreamers and overachievers, including one hard-won lesson that she deems "worth more than any qualification I ever earned."


Tisch graduates, you made it and, you’re f–ked.
— Robert De Niro at Tisch

Robert De Niro gives amazing graduation speech to the New York University Tisch School of the Arts' commencement telling the students they would have a hard time finding jobs after graduation.

You will spend more money framing your child’s diploma than they will earn in the next six months.
— Conan at Dartmouth

Conan has some encouraging words for the 2011 Dartmouth College senior class on the day of their graduation. Also this is the funniest one.

Being a celebrity has taught me to hide but being an actor has opened my soul.
— Meryl Streep at Barnard College

Meryl Streep speaks at Barnard College, Columbia University Commencement 2010. Running transcript of speech included. An American actress who has worked in theater, television, and film, Streep has received 16 Academy Award nominations and 15 Golden Globe nominations. She won two Oscars and seven Golden Globes.

Friends, Romans, countrymen: lend me your beers
— Amy Poehler at Harvard

Amy Poehler delivers Harvard University's 2011 Class Day speech at Tercentenary Theater in Harvard Yard, May 25, 2011

The point is, if I had known my own limitations, I never would have taken the risk and the risk led to one of my greatest personal and professional achievements.
— Natalie Portman at Harvard

Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman ’03 addresses graduating seniors at Harvard’s Senior Class Day ceremony on May 27, 2015 at Tercentenary Theatre. 

It wasn’t to make a political statement, it wasn’t to do anything other than to free myself up from this heaviness that I was carrying around, and I just wanted to be honest.
— Ellen at Tulane University

Top-rated television show host and New Orleans native Ellen DeGeneres was the keynote speaker at Tulane University's 2009 Commencement. This was the graduation of the "Katrina Class" that entered in Fall 2005. Ellen was introduced by Tulane president Scott Cowen.

There is no straight path from your seat today to where you are going, Don’t try to draw that line. You will not just get it wrong, you’ll miss big opportunities. And I mean big — like the Internet.
— Sheryl Sandberg at Harvard

Facebook COO, author and Harvard alumna Sheryl Sandberg '91, M.B.A. '95 addresses graduating seniors at Harvard's Senior Class Day ceremony on May 28, 2014 at Tercentenary Theatre. 

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish
— Steve Jobs at Stanford University

Drawing from some of the most pivotal points in his life, Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams and see the opportunities in life's setbacks-- including death itself-- at Stanford University's 114th Commencement on Sunday in Stanford Stadium.

Even though all these speeches were given to graduates of Ivy League Universities, the wisdom and story of success is for everyone. True Inspiration and Passion is hard to achieve but it is free and available to each one of us.

Keep yourself inspired with quotes from these incredible achievers and many more, Download our free iPhone APP QUOTE HANGER.  

Amrit Pal Singh

I am Amrit Pal Singh, an Art Director focusing on Brand Development, Motion and UI / UX Design. I graduated from Vancouver Film School and since then I have worked for design houses like Grey Group, StoryPanda and more recently Fueled based in NYC. In 2014 I founded Mister Bumbles Interactive an interactive design and development company focusing on storytelling + childlike wonder I am also the editor-in-chief of an online travel literature and photography magazine