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Best Graduation Quotes – Part II

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Following the success of Best Graduation Quotes, I am updating the site with a new collection of great grad quotes from recent years’ college and high school commencement speeches. It is interesting to notice how many of them talk about dealing with fear. Hope they inspire you and your loved ones.

 Don’t be afraid of fear…Throw caution to the winds, look fear straight-away in its ugly face, and barge forward. And when you get past it, turn around and give it a good swift kick in the ass..

– HELLEN MIRREN, actress/graduation quote from her commencement speech at Tulane University, 2017

 No matter how dark it gets, the door will open, the sunlight will return and all you’ll be left with is how you acted when the going got tough.

– STEVEN LEVITAN, TV creator of Modern Family/ graduation quote from his speech at University of Wisconsin, 2017

 I was afraid. You’re never not afraid. I’m still afraid. I was afraid to write this speech. And now, I’m just realizing how many people are watching me right now, and it’s scary. Can you please look away while I deliver the rest of the speech?.

– WILL FERREL, actor/graduation quote from his address at Univ. of Southern California, 2017

graduation quotes

 The voice you should sometimes heed is the one that tells you you can’t, you shouldn’t, it’s too much, it’s too chancy. Don’t heed the fear.

– ANNA QUINDLEN, author/graduation quote from her commencement address at Washington Univ., 2017

 No matter where you are in the next stage of your life, whether it’s in a new job or a new college, run from the language of hate. Instead, remember a line so powerful that it can be found in two classics, One Hundred Years of Solitude and a Raising in the Sun, “There is Alway Something Left to Love.”.

– JOSE GONZALES, author/graduation quote from his graduation speech at Three Rivers College, 2017


 Tomorrow you’re going to meet new people. You’re going to get on a different journey. And the bus that you drive, make sure it’s the right one. Make sure you let only good people on it. … Good people will make you better..

– MIKE KRZYZEWSKI, Duke basketball coach/graduation quote from his speech at Duke commencement, 2016

 It matters not how far you go. It matters how alive you are.

– PICO IYER, author/graduation quote from his graduation speech at USC, 2015

  A person who concentrates on what they have power over becomes unlimited in their ability to manifest what they want in the world..

– NIGHT SHYAMALAN, movie director/graduation quote from his commencement address at Drexel University, 2018

 Failure is not something to be ashamed of, it’s something to be powered by. Failure is the highest octane fuel your life can run on. You gotta learn to make failure your fuel..

– ABBY WAMBACK, soccer player/graduation quote from her commencement speech at Barnard College, 2018


 I was not someone who should have the life I have now, and yet I do. I was sitting in the chair you are literally sitting in right now and I just whispered, “Why not me?”.

– MINDY KALING, actress/graduation quote from her commencement address at Darmouth, 2018

 It’s OK to map out your future — but do it in pencil.

– JON BON JOVI, singer/graduation quote from his graduation speech at Rutgers Univ. Camden, 2015

 If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck and quacks like a duck but you think it’s a pig, it’s a pig. Trust your instinct.

GLORIA STEINEM, author/graduation quote from her speech at Bennington College, 2015

 Your intuition whispers, ‘here’s what you could do.’ Listen to that voice that tells you what you could do. Nothing will define your character more than that.

– STEVEN SPIELBERG, director/graduation quote from his speech at Harvard, 2016

 You’re biggest risk isn’t failing, it’s getting too comfortable.

– DREW HOUSTON, tech businessman/graduation quote from his commencement speech at MIT, 2013

 Stop worrying so much. Stop being scared of the unknown. Anything I worried about didn’t happen. Other stuff happened, but not what I worried about. The unknown, we can’t do anything about…

SANDRA BULLOCK, actress / high school graduation quotes from her graduation speech at Warren Easton, 2014

 What I’d like to impress upon you is an awareness that this life is yours to fill. What I want you to remember is that nobody will taste it but you, so you should only be looking to fill it with those tasty bites you want to savor.

– RITA DOVE, poet/graduation quote from her commencement speech at University of Virginia, 2016

 But at certain times don’t make the mistake of comparing your twisted up insides to other people’s blow dried outsides.

– MARY KARR, author/graduation quote from her commencement address at Syracuse University


 These days I get up the time I used to go to bed.

– JIMMY BUFFETT, singer-songwriter / funny graduation quote from his graduation speech at the University of Miami

 There will be times when your best isn’t your good enough. There can be many reasons for this, but as long as you give your best you’ll be OK.

– ROBERT DeNiro, actor/graduation quote from his commencement speech at Tisch School of Arts