Creating The Best Commencement Speech Ever

Commencement Season is fast approaching and I am honored to have been selected to deliver the address at North Carolina State University in May.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t remember who my commencement speaker was or what he or she had to say!

During my years at MIT and Duke, Commencement was always a special day for me.  It put into perspective all of the work during the previous year to ensure that students and faculty had the information resources and support they needed in their coursework and research—a morning to celebrate the launch of another class of educated men and women.

So, I am taking this assignment seriously.  I will certainly be taking FDR’s advice to heart—“Be sincere, be brief, be seated.”

But I need your help.  What advice would you give this graduating class?  What special message would you deliver to undergraduates?  Graduate students? Parents and other family members? Faculty and staff of the university?  Send me your ideas!


FDR delivers fireside chat

Franklin D. Roosevelt having a fireside chat in Washington, DC, 04/28/1935. National Archives Identifier 196760

2 thoughts on “Creating The Best Commencement Speech Ever

  1. I don’t remember the name of the man at my commencement, but I remember what he spoke about. I remember that I was expecting to be incredibly bored by this speech and anxious for it to be over, after all, how could this old man relate to me and my life when he was so far removed from his own college graduation? And I guess that’s the point, I was too young to understand that he had been where I was, and had then gone on to experience all that I was about to experience. He shared with us his perspective and advice for our next stage of life and most importantly, he advised us to not fall victim to the “Peter Pan” syndrome of never growing up. He challenged us to live up to our own dreams and expectations and achieve all that we wanted out of life. It was inspirational and I appreciated his thought provoking words.

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