As the beginning of summer approaches, college students in the United States come together to celebrate the completion of their education. Students, families, and friends fill in the seats of venues across the country to honor their wonderful achievement. Addressing the graduating class of 2022 are fellow students and staff, as well as notable CEOs, politicians, and household-name celebrities. These speakers set out to motivate, provide guidance, and—most importantly—congratulate the new graduates.
We invite you to watch some of this year’s commencement speeches below, presented by an array of notable speakers at institutions of higher education across the country. Even if you are not part of the 2022 graduating class, these speeches may inspire you.
Kamala Harris, Vice President – Tennessee State University
“Most importantly, you have the ability to see what can be, unburdened by what has been. To look at the challenges facing us and find solutions that generations before could have never imagined… I stand before you today as the Vice President of the United States of America and as a proud graduate of an HBCU to say: There is no limit to your capacity for greatness—and there is no obstacle you cannot overcome, and there is no barrier you cannot break.”
Taylor Swift, Singer/Songwriter – New York University
“In your life, you will inevitably misspeak, trust the wrong person, underreact, overreact, hurt the people who didn’t deserve it, overthink, not think at all, self-sabotage, create a reality where only your experience exists, ruin perfectly good moments for yourself and others, deny any wrongdoing, not take the steps to make it right, feel very guilty, let the guilt eat at you, hit rock bottom, finally address the pain you caused, try to do better next time, rinse, repeat.”
Dwyane Wade, Former Professional Basketball Player – Marquette University
“As we become more self-aware, we achieve a better understanding of who we are. We discover our values. Our character. What we consider to be right or wrong. We discover what drives us, what inspires us, and motivates us. Through self-awareness, we are given the opportunity to design who we truly want and deserve to be.”
Elizabeth Bonker, Valedictorian – Rollins College University
Elizabeth Bonker graduated at the top of her class and delivered her commencement speech through a speech-to-talk computer software. She uses technology as a tool to communicate as she is a person with autism that prevents her from speaking.
“We are called to serve, to see the worth in every person we serve.”
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple – Gallaudet University
“I hope you will be kind and compassionate. I hope you will see there is wonder in being part of something bigger than yourself and magic to be found in the service of others. I hope you will be good stewards of the planet we inhabit and participants in the fight to make it better, more equal, more accessible, more just.”