The Top 10 Inspirational Celebrity Commencement Speeches

It’s the end of another school year and the start of summer for most students, but for some, they are throwing their caps up celebrating the fact that they’re done school forever and are preparing to start a new chapter in their lives.

Although it’s a very exciting time for most graduates, it can also leave many feeling nervous and uneasy as they emerge into workforce (or as many say “the real world”).

As these graduates sit in their cap and gown ready to walk across the stage to receive their diploma, we look to the podium to see which celebrity guest will use their words of wisdom to inspire the graduating class.

Whether you’re graduating or not, most can benefit from these past awe-inspiring commencement speeches.

Oprah Winfrey, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, 2018

It comes as no surprise that Oprah has been chosen countless times to deliver commencement speeches as she is loved around the world and has been an inspiration to many across different platforms through her books and, of course, television. Not only does Oprah offer practical advice to graduates (i.e. make your bed, eat a good breakfast, pay your bills on time, invest in a quality mattress — I hear ya Oprah — and don’t “cheap out on your shoes”) — she also shares several personal anecdotes to help students deal with real-world problems.

This year, Oprah attended and shared her words of wisdom to the graduating class at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Oprah holds this school close to her heart as one of her sponsored girls from South Africa was part of the graduating class and was receiving her masters.

Highlights from Oprah’s speech:

  • “Vote, Vote, Vote.”
  • Listen and learn from peoples’ stories.
  • Fight for what you believe is right.
  • That “the truth is our saving grace.”
  • “Show up. Do the work.”
  • Money doesn’t constitute accomplishment.
  • “Stop comparing yourself to other people.”