Commencement Address
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Commencement Address
Software methodologist Kent Beck giving a commencement speech
The University of New Hampshire commencement, at which George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton spoke

A commencement speech or commencement address is a speech given to graduating students, generally at a university, generally in the United States, although the term is also used for secondary education institutions.

The "commencement" is a ceremony in which degrees or diplomas are conferred upon graduating students. A commencement speech is typically given by a notable figure in the community, during the commencement exercise. The person giving such a speech is known as a commencement speaker. Very commonly, colleges or universities will invite politicians, important citizens, or other noted speakers to come and address the graduating class.

A commencement speech is less bound by the structure found in other forms of public address, like eulogies or wedding speeches. The speaker accordingly enjoys a unique freedom to express him or herself.

Dianne Pleuss, from Toastmasters International, emphasizes that the speech "should not be a lecture, but rather a personal, engaging story the audience can relate to".[1]

Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking, Ramona J. Smith, identifies six elements in a good commencement speech[1]:

  • "authenticity (being yourself)
  • transparency (sharing a story of failure)
  • wisdom (having failed, picked yourself back up, failed again, hit reset, and used the lessons learned from the previous failures to become successful)
  • humor (comic relief, keep their attention, make that connection)
  • credibility (Are you somebody?)
  • preparation (practicing the speech or hiring an exceptional speech writer)"

Despite meaning "beginning", commencement may be mistaken to mean "ending" due to its association with the end of college. Its usage originated with students finishing their studies and being awarded a degree, thus commencing as bachelors or masters in a subject and enjoying new privileges within academia.[2]

Some notable commencement speeches

See also

References

  1. ^ a b DeVries, Henry. "Learn How To Give Great Speeches From Commencement Speakers Like Robert Smith". Forbes. Retrieved .
  2. ^ Online etymology dictionary. "commencement (n.)". Retrieved .
  3. ^ a b "Top 10 Commencement Speeches". Time magazine. Retrieved 2013.
  4. ^ "The 10 Best Graduation Speeches of All Time: Winston Churchill, Former UK PM". CNBC. Retrieved 2013.
  5. ^ "Student Speech". Wellesley College. Retrieved .
  6. ^ Feynman, Richard P. (June 1974). "Cargo Cult Science" (PDF). California Institute of Technology. Retrieved .
  7. ^ "'You've got to find what you love,' Jobs says". Stanford Report. June 14, 2005. Retrieved 2013.
  8. ^ Levine, Sam (2016-05-20). "David Foster Wallace's Famous Commencement Speech Almost Didn't Happen". Huffington Post. Retrieved .
  9. ^ J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement. 15 September 2011. Retrieved 2016 – via YouTube.
  10. ^ The Obama White House (7 May 2016). "President Obama Delivers the Commencement Address at Howard University". Retrieved 2018 – via YouTube.
  11. ^ "Steven Spielberg Selected as 2016 Commencement Speaker - News - The Harvard Crimson". www.thecrimson.com. Retrieved 2018.
  12. ^ "Harvard Live - Harvard University". Harvard University. Retrieved 2018.
  13. ^ Staff, Entrepreneur (23 May 2016). "Peter Thiel Commencement Speech, Hamilton College, May 2016 (Transcript)". entrepreneur.com. Retrieved 2018.
  14. ^ Holly Foster (May 22, 2016). "PayPal Co-Founder Peter Thiel Urges Class of 2016 to "Do What Hasn't Been Done"". Hamilton.edu. Retrieved 2016.
  15. ^ University of Michigan (2 May 2016). "Michael Bloomberg's 2016 Commencement Speech - University of Michigan". Retrieved 2018 – via YouTube.
  16. ^ Duke University (15 May 2016). "Coach Mike Krzyzewski's 2016 Commencement Speech at Duke University". Retrieved 2018 – via YouTube.
  17. ^ "Hillsdale College's 164th Commencement Ceremony". www.hillsdale.edu. Retrieved 2018.
  18. ^ "Trump at Liberty University commencement: 'In America, we don't worship government; we worship God'". Washington Post. Retrieved .
  19. ^ Bidgood, Jess; Seelye, Katharine Q. (2017-05-26). "At Wellesley, Hillary Clinton Criticizes Trump and Invokes Nixon Resignation". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved .
  20. ^ Diamond, Anna. "What Hillary Clinton Said to the Wellesley Class of 2017". The Atlantic. Retrieved .
  21. ^ "Commencement Address". Wellesley College. Retrieved .

External links



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