So I begin this address not only with the full expectation that I will soon be forgotten, but with the additional humiliation that there will probably be no one there to remind you of who I was. Be open to that. We all go through life bristling at our external limitations, but the most difficult chains to break are inside us. You’ve reached the wonderful and terrifying moment where you must be your own guide. You must pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and knock again. You know, I get it.

When faced with the terror of an opening night on Broadway, you can either dissolve in a puddle of fear or you can get yourself ready. Success is to be honest and to contribute in some way All we need is for you to find joy in your journey, to find satisfaction in hard work, to be aware of what is happening around you, to free yourself from your imagined limitations, to listen, and finally, to act – not to play make believe. This fills my life with bitterness. At the end of your days, you will be judged by your gallop, not by your stumble. You will inevitably make mistakes. I will leave you with something I have learned from my only other area of expertise, besides the coffee — being a father.

I remember squinting a lot and a vague sense that I would never again be around so many attractive, available young people in my life.

Make no mistake about it — if you choose not to participate at the ballot box or in the urgent discussion about the world that we will one day pass on to the next generation, you no longer live in a democracy. You’ve got a huge room, you’ve got a big, distracted crowd that thinks they know graduayion about everything – and probably stayed out a little too late last night celebrating.


One thing I can tell you is that Concordia College is getting ripped off. Don’t wait for it to happen. I will leave you with something I have learned from my only other area of expertise, besides the coffee — being a father.

bradley whitford graduation speech

The Best Commencement Speeches Part 1 Here is the bottom half of the top 10 commencement speeches in reverse order: Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

George Bush did not write that speech. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.

Motivation: The Top 10 Commencement Speeches Part 1

You have sentenced yourself to a civic gulag dictated by the whims of those who choose to participate. I am perpetually assaulted by examples of children, quadrupeds and a wide variety of insufferable idiots who are, on occasion, capable of acting beautifully. Doors will slam in your face.

The joy is in the journey. But I do want you to be an actor in your own bradleu. It is an act of liberation that will connect you to the world with compassion and be your best guide as you navigate the choppy waters of love, work and citizenship. One of Whitford’s lines from his speech is: It is not gonna happen. You’ve got to want to do whatever you want to do more than you want to be whatever you want to be, want to write more than you want to be a writer, want to heal more than you want to be a doctor, want to teach more than you want to be a teacher, want to serve more than you want to be a politician.


But I do want you to be an actor in your own life. Now, you may think that I am inappropriately taking graduagion opportunity to attack the president on a meaningless issue because of my particular political persuasion — and you would be correct. Somebody once said it’s like being the body at a wake. I feel your shame. Infuse your life with action.

bradley whitford graduation speech

Why couldn’t you get a more significant speaker? Action is the antidote to apathy and cynicism and despair.

Bradley Whitford, Wisconsin, – Top 10 Commencement Speeches – TIME

Congratulations, Class of They are not smarter, faster, or tougher; they simply don’t beat themselves. One of the few graduation speakers who will never be forgotten, Nelson Mandela, put it this way:.

Once you’re prepared, throw your preparation in the trash. George Bush did not write that speech. Yes, friends, take solace in the fact that if you had actually paid me anything to come here today, you would be about to get your money’s worth. Learn what you can and move on. Why would you opt instead for a glorified circus clown from a television show?

He was invited to give the commencement address at the Ohio State university ina year before his death. But I hereby challenge the leader of the free world to swear under oath that he wrote every word of the commencement address that he delivered.