To all the people graduating this year, I congratulate you and your families! Congratulations to everyone graduating from pre-school where you have learned to use your words and trust that “uh-oh” feeling. Congratulations to kindergarten and elementary school graduates. You’ve grown so much. Your communication and social skills are stunning. Congratulations middle school and high school graduates! You have learned so much and come so far. Congratulations college and graduate school students who are embarking on a whole new journey and adventure. I look forward to seeing all of your accomplishments, and if I’m lucky I will meet all of you. My wish is that you find and receive comfort, inspiration, joy, success, and happiness. May this collection of commencement address quotes inspire you as you grow into your best selves.

Keep Moving Forward

“Ditch the dream and be a doer, not a dreamer whether or not you know what your passion might be. The truth is, it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to know. You just have to keep moving forward. You just have to keep doing something, seizing the next opportunity, staying open to trying something new. It doesn’t have to fit your vision of the perfect job or the perfect life. Perfect is boring and dreams are not real.” Shonda Rhimes, 2014

Build Resilience

“Build resilience in yourselves. When tragedy or disappointment strike, know that you have the ability to get through absolutely anything. I promise you do.” Sheryl Sandberg, 2015

Have Character and Courage

“In your defining moments, do not let your morals be swayed by convenience or expediency. Sticking to your character requires a lot of courage. Today, you start down the path of becoming the generation on which the next generation stands.” Steven Spielberg, 2016

Have Integrity

“In the end, it is not only what we do but how we do it. Whatever we do, we must act with honesty and with integrity and regardless of your chosen career, you’re only as good as your word. If you are not honest, your reputation will suffer. And once lost, a good reputation can never ever be regained.” – Robert Mueller, 2017

Do the Right Thing

“Because more than ever we need people to be guided by their own senses of principle—and not the whims of a culture that prizes ambition, and sensationalism, and celebrity, and vulgarity, and doing whatever it takes to win. Because if enough of you listen to that voice—if enough of you prove that this generation isn’t going to make the same mistakes as the one before—then doing the right thing won’t seem as rare, or as hard, or as special.” – Ronan Farrow, 2018

Listen and Be Heard

“Listen as fiercely as you want to be heard.” Kristen Bell, 2019

Overcome Obstacles and Come Back

“No matter how successful you are, life will throw obstacles in your path, like it was with my heart surgery, or like with your graduation now…  The director, Tim Miller came up to me after two days and said, ‘Arnold, you’re a f***ing machine. And I said, ‘No, I’m just back.'”  – Arnold Schwarzenegger, 2020