The 3 Best Commencement Speeches for Class of 2015

In Innovations by Teague LoughmanLeave a Comment

As the school year came to a close, the Class of 2015 donned their graduation gowns and caps. After four years and a lot of hard work, these students are finally ready to graduate and enter the real world.

During graduation ceremonies, the most prominent and experienced politicians, innovators, entertainers, and entrepreneurs pause their pursuits to advise and inspire our future generation by giving commencement speeches.

Quick note: I LOVE listening to inspirational commencement speeches (especially ones given by successful entrepreneurs!). In fact, I like these speeches so much that I have scoured the entire internet, searching for the very best addresses given this year – and I want to share them with all of you!

So without further ado, here are three of the very best Commencement Speeches of 2015, in no particular order. Get ready to be inspired!

#1. Richard Engel, Stanford University

Don’t let a four-inch screen narrow your vision. Open your eyes so wide that you let the entire world come in.

(Engel’s speech begins at 1:13:56)

#2. Natalie Portman – Harvard University

Make use of the fact that you don’t doubt yourself too much right now. As we get older, we get more realistic and that includes about our own abilities or lack thereof. That realism does us no favors. Fear protects us in many ways, but what has served me is diving into my own obliviousness. Being more confident than I should be … trying things that you never would have tried. Your inexperience is an asset in that it will make you think in original, unconventional ways. Accept your lack of knowledge and use it as your asset.

#3. Ariana Huffington – Vassar College

Huffington’s 3 Relationships:

  1. Your relationship with technology: “No generation has been as liberated and as connected by technology as yours. But also, no generation has been as enslaved and as distracted by technology.”
  2. Your relationship with yourself: “There will be many profound and fulfilling relationships ahead of you, but the relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you’ll ever have.”
  3. Your relationship with the world: “There is an invisible but very real and inescapable connection between our relationship with ourselves and our relationship with the world… Don’t get so caught up in your busy life that life’s mystery passes you by.”

Watch the full video on Huffington Post here.

BONUS ROUND! Now, for my all-time favorite Commencement Speech…. 

Steve Jobs (2005) – Stanford University

At 22 MILLION views, Job’s commencement speech is truly inspirational. Make sure to bookmark this link so you can watch it whenever you need some extra motivation!

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. Stay hungry, stay foolish.

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