2018 graduation speeches: Cynthia Nixon, Chadwick Boseman, and more celebrities share inspiring words

Chadwick Boseman (Howard University, May 12, 2018)

Memorable Quote: “When you are deciding on next steps, next jobs, next careers, further education, you should rather find purpose than a job or a career. Purpose crosses disciplines. Purpose is an essential element of you.”

Oprah Winfrey (USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, May 11, 2018)

Memorable Quote: “Vote. Vote. Vote. Pay attention to what the people who claim to represent you are doing and saying in your name and on your behalf. They represent you and if they’ve not done right by you or if their policies are at odds with your core beliefs, then you have a responsibility to send them packing.”

Jennifer Nettles (Agnes Scott College, May 12, 2018)

Memorable Quote: “I want you to be the boss ladies of your own lives. I want you to live authentically in your truth. I want you to be so in touch with your truth that nothing can pull you off of your path. I want you to live in the marrow, in the richness, to walk the edge of the knife called life.”

Michael Keaton (Kent State University, May 12, 2018)

Memorable Quote: “I’m Batman.” 

Chance the Rapper (Dillard University, May 12, 2018)

Memorable Quote: “All of us have a responsibility to be greater than the people who came before us… We have a responsibility to be not as good as them or live up to their example, but to actually surpass them, even when it seems scary. We have to overcome that fear and be greater than our role models.”

Cynthia Nixon (Helene Fuld College of Nursing, May 4, 2018)

Memorable Quote: “When you stand up with courage, what you can achieve may surprise even you. And that’s what I want to share with you here today: never doubt that you can make a space big enough for yourself in this world.”

Ronan Farrow (Loyola Marymount University, May 5, 2018)

Memorable Quote: “You will face a moment in your career where you have absolutely no idea what to do. Where it will be totally unclear to you what the right thing is for you, for your family, for your community… And I hope that in that moment you’ll be generous with yourself, but trust that inner voice. Because more than ever we need people to be guided by their own senses of principle — and not the whims of a culture that prizes ambition, and sensationalism, and celebrity, and vulgarity, and doing whatever it takes to win.”

Alexander Payne (University of Nebraska – Lincoln, May 5, 2018)

Memorable Quote: “Don’t die with regrets. You’ll regret it. P.S.: Go, Scott Frost! Go, Scott Frost!”

David Muir (University of Wisconsin, May 12, 2018)

Memorable Quote: “You will never forget what happened in the world while you were a student here, the election you witnessed. And one thing I’ve learned from the news these last couple of years is that when you get a chance to come to Wisconsin, you definitely come.”

Tim Cook (Duke University, May 13, 2018)

Memorable Quote: “I believe mindset comes naturally to young people. And you should never let go of this restlessness. So today’s ceremony isn’t just about presenting you with a degree. It is about presenting you with a question. How will you challenge the status quo? How will you push the world forward?”

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