10 Great Commencement Quotes

Anyone go to a graduation this weekend? If you didn’t know, it’s graduation season. Where I live near a college campus, the students are packing up and moving on to summer jobs.

My favorite part of graduation – commencement speeches. When else do we have a ton of successful people, share their tips on success.

Here’s 10 of my favorites:

1) “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. 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… Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” – Steve Jobs, Stanford University, 2005

2) “Love what you do. Get good at it. Competence is a rare commodity in this day and age. And let the chips fall where they may.” – Jon Stewart, The College of William & Mary 2004

3)“One person working toward a dream is worth 99 people just working.” ~ Lani Kraus

4) “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” ~Albert Einstein

5) “Always do more than is required of you.” ~ George S. Patton

6) “The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more to me than any qualification I ever earned.” – J.K. Rowling

7) “Do not just go through the motions. Never put yourself in the position of regretting what you did not try to do. Every experience, whether it is good or bad, if it is based on the passionate belief that what you are doing is something you love, will give you the will and the character to learn, grow and persevere. Stand up for yourself and your dreams. Do not lose your youthful idealism for the world.” George Tenet, director of central intelligence, CIA

8) “Because as tough as things have been, I am convinced you are tougher. I’ve seen your passion and I’ve seen your service… I’ve seen a generation eager — impatient even — to step into the rushing waters of history and change its course.” Barack Obama

9) “My advice to you: live in the moment. Stay fluid and roll with those changes. Life is just a big extended improvisation. Embrace the ever changing, ever evolving world with the best rule I’ve ever found. Say “YES AND.” Jane Lynch

10) “I’ve found that nothing in life is worthwhile unless you take risks. Fall forward. Every failed experiment is one step closer to success. You’ve got to take risks. You will fail at some point in your life. Accept it. You will lose. You will embarrass yourself. You will suck at something. There is no doubt about it. Never be discouraged. Never look back. Give everything you’ve got. And when you fall throughout life, fall forward.” Denzel Washington

What’s your favorite commencement quote?
Who spoke at your commencement?

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Karen "Kari" Uhlman

Thank you for the above quotes! Our youngest daughter’s high school commencement speaker read Dr. Suess’ Oh, The Places You’ll Go! I enjoyed that. I was commencement speaker at my high school graduation.

Carol Davison

When my temporarily orphaned “nephew” graduated from high school and went on to college I purchased “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” for him. All of my siblings signed it and enclosed money gifts for him.

Kathleen Ely

When I graduated from Rocky Mountain College in Billings, MT, we were repeatedly advised “Rocky is the road to success.” I prefer Rocky Road ice cream.

Avatar photo Katelyn Keegan

At Undergraduate Graduation at the American University we had the late great Senator Daniel Inouye (Hawaii) and at Graduate Graduation also at American we had David Walker, Comptroller General of the United States.