A commencement speech or commencement address is a speech given to graduating students, generally at a university, although the term is also used for secondary education institutions. The "commencement" is a ceremony in which degrees or diplomas are conferred upon graduating students. A commencement speech is typically given by a notable figure in the community, during the commencement exercise. The person giving such a speech is known as a commencement speaker. Very commonly, colleges or universities will invite politicians, important citizens, or other noted speakers to come and address the graduating class.
Notable speeches include:
- Winston Churchill at Harrow School in 1941
- John F. Kennedy's American University speech in 1963
- "Top 10 Commencement Speeches". Time magazine. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
- "The 10 Best Graduation Speeches of All Time: Winston Churchill, Former UK PM". CNBC. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
See also 
- The art of the commencement speech, an archive
- A selection of speeches from 2005 from C-SPAN[dead link]
- Excerpts from commencement speeches by Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and J.K. Rowling
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