A graduation ceremony is an event where the commencement speaker tells thousands of students dressed in identical caps and gowns that "individuality" is the key to success.
Just about a month from now I'm set adrift, with a diploma for a sail and lots of nerve for oars.
There is a good reason they call these ceremonies "commencement exercises." Graduation is not the end; it's the beginning.
Your families are extremely proud of you. You can't imagine the sense of relief they are experiencing. This would be a mostopportune time to ask for money.
The tassel's worth the hassle!
The fireworks begin today. Each diploma is a lighted match. Each one of you is a fuse.
All that stands between the graduate and the top of the ladder is the ladder.
Graduation is only a concept. In real life every day you graduate. Graduation is a process that goes on until the last day of your life. If you can grasp that, you'll make a difference.
At commencement you wear your square-shaped mortarboards. My hope is that from time to time you will let your minds be bold,and wear sombreros.
When you leave here, don't forget why you came.
~Adlai Stevenson, to college graduates
Graduation day is tough for adults. They go to the ceremony as parents. They come home as contemporaries. After twenty-two years of child-raising, they are unemployed.
You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world.
The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.
It takes most men five years to recover from a college education, and to learn that poetry is as vital to thinking as knowledge.
~Brooks Atkinson, Once Around the Sun, 1951
A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.
An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.
~Author unknown, commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin Commencement speeches were invented largely in the belief that outgoing college students should never be released into the world until they have been properly sedated.
[I]t is clear the future holds great opportunities. It also holds pitfalls. The trick will be to avoid the pitfalls, seize the opportunities, and get back home by six o'clock.
~Woody Allen, "My Speech to the Graduates," Side Effects, 1980
People will frighten you about a graduation.... They use words you don't hear often: "And we wish you Godspeed." It is a warning, Godspeed. It means you are no longer welcome here at these prices.
The future lies before you
Like a field of driven snow,
Be careful how you tread it,
For every step will show.
Your schooling may be over, but remember that your education still continues.
Don't live down to expectations. Go out there and do something remarkable.
I hope your dreams take you to the corners of your smiles, to the highest of your hopes, to the windows of your
opportunities, and to the most special places your heart has ever known.
Hitch your wagon to a star.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Wherever you go, go with all your heart.
~Confuciust's over. Smile because it happened.
~Theodor Seuss Geisel, attributed
Life is my college. May I graduate well, and earn some honors!
~Louisa May Alcott
It is indeed ironic that we spend our school days yearning to graduate and our remaining days waxing nostalgic about our school days.
In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take the experience first; the cash will come later.
Put your future in good hands - your own.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
~Henry S. Haskins, Meditations in Wall Street, 1940, commonly misattributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson (Thanks, Garson O'Toole!)
Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
The man who graduates today and stops learning tomorrow is uneducated the day after.
~Newton D. Baker
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
You are the guy who'll decide where to go.
Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.
Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing worth knowing can be taught.
~Oscar Wilde, "The Critic as Artist," 1890
Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.
The things taught in schools and colleges are not an education, but the means of education.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
~Attributed to Mark Twain, unconfirmed
Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.
~Robert Louis Stevenson
Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.
If at first you don't succeed, do it like your mother told you.
Of course there's a lot of knowledge in universities: the freshmen bring a little in; the seniors don't take much away, so knowledge sort of accumulates.
~A. Lawrence Lowell
If you feel that you have both feet planted on level ground, then the university has failed you.
~Robert Goheen, Time, 23 June 1961
Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.
~Anthony J. D'Angelo, The College Blue Book
The truth is, I was afraid the day I walked into Stanford. And I was afraid the day I walked out.
Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures.
~H. Jackson Brown, Jr., Life's Little Instruction Book
If you aren't fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm.
I learned law so well, the day I graduated I sued the college, won the case, and got my tuition back.
You cannot help but learn more as you take the world into your hands. Take it up reverently, for it is an old piece of clay, with millions of thumbprints on it.
We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails.
Things turn out best for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out.
Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude.
To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
~e.e. cummings, 1955
Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.
It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.
How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone.
~Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel
There is just one life for each of us: our own.
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
The purpose of a liberal education is to make you philosophical enough to accept the fact that you will never make much money.
A professor is someone who talks in someone else's sleep.
The advantage of a classical education is that it enables you to despise the wealth that it prevents you from achieving.
A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.
Wise are those who learn that the bottom line doesn't always have to be their top priority.
~William Arthur Ward
The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed.
Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
~Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles," 1992 (commonly misattributed to Nelson Mandela, 1994 inauguration speech)
The important thing is not to stop questioning.
The trouble with learning from experience is that you never graduate.
The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder.
~Ralph W. Sockman
The one real object of education is to have a man in the condition of continually asking questions.
~Bishop Mandell Creighton
The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.
~Sydney J. Harris
If you think education is expensive, try ignorance!
To the uneducated, an A is just three sticks.
The best helping hand that you will ever receive is the one at the end of your own arm.
Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.
Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit and simply never leave. Our lives are measured by these.
~Susan B. Anthony
Keep in mind that neither success nor failure is ever final.
If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door.
Success isn't a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.
~Arnold H. Glasow
A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.
~Francis Bacon, Essays, 1625
Education is the best provision for old age.
Don't waste time learning the "tricks of the trade." Instead, learn the trade.
~Attributed to both James Charlton and H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.
Don't be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated; you can't cross a chasm in two small jumps.
~David Lloyd George
What we are is God's gift to us. What we become is our gift to God.
Whenever it is possible, a boy should choose some occupation which he should do even if he did not need the money.
~William Lyon Phelps
My father always told me, "Find a job you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life."
During my second year of nursing school our professor gave us a quiz. I breezed through the questions until I read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?" Surely this was a joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Before the class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our grade. "Absolutely," the professor said. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello." I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.
~Joann C. Jones
You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.
The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.