Celebrities can be generous with their money, their time, and in some cases, with their knowledge. Some famous folks take on the responsibility of mentoring others, sharing and teaching about what it took to reach their level of success. Here are 10 famous people who gave commencement speeches in 2014.
The talented “Criminal Minds” actor gave the commencement speech at Miami University this year. The school said this about Whitaker, “As an actor and a humanitarian, Forest Whitaker reflects the energy and the values that define Miami.”
Funny “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” actor Day gave an inspiring speech to the students at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts, encouraging them to take risks and not be afraid of creating the type of life they want for themselves. As might be expected, the speech had students in fits of laughter.
Students of Warren Easton Charter High School got a big surprise at the 2014 graduation when Sandra Bullock took the stage for the commencement speech. It’s the oldest public high school in the state of Louisiana, and Bullock has been a major supporter of the school since it re-opened following Hurricane Katrina, during which time it sustained damages.
Tiger Wood’s ex, Elin Nordegren was a graduate and gave a speechat Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida where she recently completed her studies. Nordegren didn’t miss a chance to take a jab at her ex husband in her speech, saying that she probably could have been more prepared for the media attention that would come with her marriage scandal had she “taken more notes” in her communications class.
The recently retired “Tonight Show” host graduated from Emerson College, a small liberal arts college in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1973. More than 40 years later, Leno returned to his old stomping grounds to honor the 2014 graduating class with his trademark clean-but-very-perceptive humor.
Many people don’t know this but Peyton Manning’s college sweetheart — and now wife –attended the University of Virginia, so even though Manning attended the University of Tennessee, this Denver Broncos quarterback was happy to give a commencement speech at his wife’s alma mater. Manning’s speech involved loving memories of his time spent on the campus with his wife, and ended with him throwing a football on the campus field.
The comedian, actor and inventor Bill Nye covered some topics close to his heart in his commencement speech at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, including climate change, fossil fuels and conservation. He ended the speech by urging students to “change the world.”
Our first lady created quite a splash when she gave a commencement speech at Dillards University in New Orleans, Louisiana, taking a selfie with the class president and encouraging students to never stop learning.
Bill Clinton delivered the very first commencement speech ever at the new campus at New York University— Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Clinton spent much of his speech addressing controversy surrounding workers’ rights abuses and labor concerns for those who helped build the new campus. He apologized in his speech that media coverage hadn’t focused more on the students themselves in the week leading up to the commencement.
Musician and nine-time Grammy Award winner John Legend was a speaker at the University of Pennsylvania’s commencement this year. His alma mater honored him with a doctor of music degree and he gave a very touching speech. He told students that the opposite of love is fear, and that “being a hater isn’t cool.”
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