What's new

Commencement Speeches


New member
Arguably, some of the most inspirational speeches in the world come from commencement speeches at graduations. Leaders and heroes come to schools on the day that students are most eager and emotional for, and those leaders offer their own words of wisdom and encouragement.

The most inspirational commencement speech I've ever seen was, unfortunately, not at my own graduation, but for the 2008 Harvard graduation. J.K. Rowling, author of the monumental Harry Potter series, gave a speech that focused on two keys themes: the benefits of failure and the importance of imagination.

Some highlights include:
"Achieveable goals: the first step to self-improvement."
"There is an expiry date for blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction."
"And so, rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life."

If you haven't seen this speech, the link is below. You will weep and feel empowered at the same time. (And by weep, I mean literal tears).

J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement

What commencement speeches have you seen online or witnessed firsthand that inspired you? What were some of the themes of their speeches?