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Words Of Wisdom From 2017 Commencement Speeches


Yes. It's that time of year, graduation season. If there's a new graduate in your life, you might be wondering how the last few years of economic turmoil have affected people entering the job market. We have a guest coming up who has some thoughts about that. But first, if you haven't been lucky enough to be invited to a graduation this year, here is just a little taste of the words of wisdom, warning and weirdness that commencement speakers delivered to the class of 2017.


HILLARY CLINTON: I believe with all my heart that the future of America, indeed the future of the world, depends on brave, thoughtful people like you insisting on truth and integrity right now every day. You didn't create these circumstances, but you have the power to change them.


MIKE PENCE: While we must always work and hope and pray for peace, the best way to ensure peace is for our adversaries and our enemies to know that America is prepared to lead and fight and win any contest, any struggle anywhere on behalf of freedom.


MARK ZUCKERBERG: I'm here to tell you that finding your purpose isn't enough. The challenge for our generation is to create a world where everyone has a sense of purpose.


THEO EPSTEIN: Some players and some of us go through our careers with their heads down focused on our craft and our tasks, keeping to ourselves, worrying about our numbers or our grades, projecting our individual interest. Other players and others amongst us go through our careers with our heads up as a real part of a team, alert and aware of others, embracing difference, employing empathy, genuinely connecting, putting collective interests ahead of our own. It is a choice.


WILL FERRELL: (Singing) I will always love you, will always love you class of 2017.

MARTIN: That was in order Hillary Clinton at her alma mater Wellesley College, Vice President Mike Pence at the U.S. Naval Academy, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard University, Chicago Cubs President of Operations Theo Epstein at Yale University and actor Will Ferrell at the University of Southern California. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.