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Celebs and their 2019 Commencement Speeches have Us in Tears!

So it’s ‘Graduation Season’ again, when students and their parents early wait to get handed their degrees after many years of hard work and a lot of money and time spent in college. There are a host of celebrities who made commencement speeches at educational institutes this 2019, and here are our top 5 speeches…

Oprah Winfrey

Winfrey addressed the graduating class on May 19 at Colorado College that small steps led to mighty accomplishments, touched other people’s lives and transformed the world daily by actions. Winfrey emphasized the importance of perspective by understanding that they cannot fix everything but do what is possible by making decisions because life is about decisions. She exhorted the students to use their life in service, to speak up, show up, stand up and sit in, to volunteer, to vote, to shout out, help and lend a hand. They should offer their talents and kindness to radically transform whatever moments they are in, to lead to even bigger moments in life, unaware about their legacy.

Katie Holmes

The Dawson’s Creek actress addressed 2000 undergrads at the Glass Bowl Stadium, University of Toledo, Ohio (her hometown) on 18 May. For the young women, she encouraged them to lift up, listen to, and trust one another as women supporting women, is very relevant today. “Do not wait for a sign, go out there and make things happen for themselves, an amazing and terrifying responsibility.” Katie also said that everyone deserves joy, now. “So in equal parts be tough and gentle with yourself, taking things one step at a time. Work hard even when no one is looking. Never let anybody say you never called them back.”

Pharrell Williams

The “Happy” singer returned on May 17 to the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville to encourage the graduating class of the University of Virginia, his home state, to use their education to help others and change the world for the better. Williams touched on serious subjects, Alabama’s controversial measures to ban abortions and confirmed his confidence in the next generation of leaders to move forward. He asked the students to spread positivity in everyday lives as the world needed it. This generation must move on from classrooms to boardrooms as the world needed innovators, thinkers and rule breakers with ambition, with energy to see bold, big and audacious dreams that will be disruptive.

Jennifer Garner

The Peppermint star returned to her alma mater, Denison University, to share some tips with the class of 2019 on May 18. In a speech full of light-hearted quips, she said that mixed signals are not mixed signals, they’re a no. The mom-of-three ended with a reminder that happiness is part of a journey and not the destination.  If lucky, life will be 65% happy and that’s a definite win. At a certain point, there is no finish line to cross, no moment when you are expected to be happy. While waiting for defining moments, life goes on. “Happiness is your own responsibility, so go for it.”

Glenn Close

The Wife actress encouraged the graduating class at her alma mater, the College of William & Mary, in Williamsburg, Virginia, on May 11, to embrace who they are, while only focusing on lasting connections, rather than give into social media pressures. They must accept reality, believe in it, and nurture it. They were responsible for each other’s backs for the rest of their lives. The actress discussed the value of empathy and personal connections, and to remain a free and viable society, we must watch fewer screens and look into each other’s eyes.

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