“Be Your Own Story”: 8 Life Lessons from Literary Commencement Speeches

By Jessica Monk and Amanda Festa

Brevity isn’t exactly the soul of most graduation ceremonies, and if a commencement speaker can hold you in your seat with rapt attention on a hot May or June day, their message is most likely worth taking away with you.

In today’s world of viral videos, the Graduation Speech is a public art form of sorts -- a friendly monument to collective aspiration. And we may be biased, but a literary commencement speech seems like the best of all worlds, combining storytelling with the usual rh...

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