Friday, November 21, 2014
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Steve Jobs? Ellen DeGeneres? Who were the top commencement speakers ever?

It’s that time of year when commencement speeches are echoing off the walls of gyms, auditoriums and football fields.

Posted on May 16, 2014 at 4:42 p.m.

'Tis the season for caps and gowns. 

Spring commencement ceremonies often feature inspirational speeches by leaders, stars, entrepreneurs and academic heavyweights who bestow their wisdom upon the masses of graduates getting ready to enter the workforce.

Media site Vox just released a list of the 21 greatest graduation speeches of the last 50 years. Its top three picks are David Foster Wallace at Kenyon College in 2005, Steve Jobs at Stanford University in 2005 and Ellen DeGeneres at Tulane University in 2009.

And often, inspiration often comes from the students themselves.

Parker Mantell, a graduating senior at Indiana University, didn’t let his speech impediment stop him from giving a rousing student address at his commencement.

“If doubt were to be a disease, its cure would be confidence,” he told his fellow graduates.

Tell us: If you could pick anyone to speak at your commencement ceremony, who would it be? What’s the most inspiring commencement speech you’ve heard?


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