Commencement speech

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Then-Vice President Joe Biden delivering a commencement speech to the graduating class of 2015 at Yale University
The University of New Hampshire commencement in 2007, at which George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton spoke

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 and in similar institutions around the world.

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 or a graduating student. 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.

A student speaker may deliver remarks either in lieu or in conjunction with a notable outside figure. Student commencement speakers are often valedictorians or may otherwise be elected by their peers to represent the student body.

Despite meaning "beginning", commencement may be mistaken to mean "ending" due to its association with the end of one's studies. Its usage originated with students finishing their studies and being awarded a degree, thus commencing as bachelors or masters in a subject and enjoying new privileges within academia.[1]

Some notable commencement speeches[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Online etymology dictionary. "commencement (n.)". Retrieved 2020-01-26.
  2. ^ a b "Top 10 Commencement Speeches". Time magazine. Archived from the original on May 20, 2009. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  3. ^ "The 10 Best Graduation Speeches of All Time: Winston Churchill, Former UK PM". CNBC. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  4. ^ "Student Speech". Wellesley College. Retrieved 2016-03-02.
  5. ^ Feynman, Richard P. (June 1974). "Cargo Cult Science" (PDF). California Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2015-10-25.
  6. ^ "'You've got to find what you love,' Jobs says". Stanford Report. June 14, 2005. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  7. ^ Levine, Sam (2016-05-20). "David Foster Wallace's Famous Commencement Speech Almost Didn't Happen". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-11-05.
  8. ^ J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement. 15 September 2011. Retrieved 28 March 2016 – via YouTube.
  9. ^ The Obama White House (7 May 2016). "President Obama Delivers the Commencement Address at Howard University". Retrieved 18 April 2018 – via YouTube.
  10. ^ "Steven Spielberg Selected as 2016 Commencement Speaker - News - The Harvard Crimson". Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Harvard Live - Harvard University". Harvard University. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  12. ^ Staff, Entrepreneur (23 May 2016). "Peter Thiel Commencement Speech, Hamilton College, May 2016 (Transcript)". Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  13. ^ Holly Foster (May 22, 2016). "PayPal Co-Founder Peter Thiel Urges Class of 2016 to "Do What Hasn't Been Done"". Retrieved December 28, 2016.
  14. ^ University of Michigan (2 May 2016). "Michael Bloomberg's 2016 Commencement Speech - University of Michigan". Retrieved 18 April 2018 – via YouTube.
  15. ^ Duke University (15 May 2016). "Coach Mike Krzyzewski's 2016 Commencement Speech at Duke University". Retrieved 18 April 2018 – via YouTube.
  16. ^ "Hillsdale College's 164th Commencement Ceremony". Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  17. ^ "Trump at Liberty University commencement: 'In America, we don't worship government; we worship God'". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  18. ^ Bidgood, Jess; Seelye, Katharine Q. (2017-05-26). "At Wellesley, Hillary Clinton Criticizes Trump and Invokes Nixon Resignation". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-06-13.
  19. ^ Diamond, Anna. "What Hillary Clinton Said to the Wellesley Class of 2017". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2017-06-13.
  20. ^ "Commencement Address". Wellesley College. Retrieved 2017-06-13.
  21. ^ "Commencement Address at the Illinois Institute of Technology by Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF". IMF. Retrieved 2020-08-06.
  22. ^ "Angela Merkel - Harvard University Commencement Address (English)". Retrieved 2020-08-06.
  23. ^ "Commencement remarks by Chair Yellen". Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Retrieved 2020-08-06.
  24. ^ "College Events - Commencement Speech - 2013". Smith College. Retrieved 2020-08-06.
  25. ^ "Mount Holyoke College Virtual Commencement" (PDF). Mount Holyoke College. 2021-05-23. Retrieved 2021-05-23.

External links[edit]