Celebrities who inspire with graduation commencement speeches in 2018


Celebrities are stepping up and speaking out at graduation ceremonies across the nation, from Oprah Winfrey to Chance The Rapper.

Oprah Winfrey is known for encouraging her followers to “live your best life.” And for a group of lucky graduates, Oprah provided words of wisdom to help them do just that at their college graduation ceremony in 2018. But Winfrey isn’t the only celebrity who took the podium to deliver commencement speeches this year. Read on to learn about the eloquent words from some of your favorite celebrities at graduation ceremonies in 2018.

1. Chance the Rapper rocks as a celebrity commencement speaker

Rap on, Chance. Addressing Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana, Chance the Rapper indulged in some name-dropping, including celebrities such as Beyoncé and James Brown, before giving graduates the opportunity to dream. The celebrity pointed out that “the greatest performer who ever lived might very well be in this audience.” And if you’re dreaming of becoming the next Beyoncé, Chance urges you to study Queen Bey and set a goal of surpassing the Great One.

2. Oprah Winfrey wants you to live your best life

You get your best life! And you get your best life! EVERYONE gets their best life! The always-fabulous Oprah Winfrey inspired University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism graduates to use their education to become the “new editorial gate-keepers, an ambitious army of truth-seekers who will arm yourselves with the intelligence, with the insights and the facts necessary to strike down deceit.” In an era where “false news” continues to raise concerns, Oprah urged graduates to challenge “false narratives with real information.” And above all, Winfrey to push the envelope when it comes to toss trash news in the bin and “set the record straight.”

3. Chadwick Boseman goes for it with a Wakanda Forever gesture

Howard University Alumnus Chadwick Boseman to deliver 2018 commencement dddress #2018howardgraduation #blackpanther

Posted by WUSA 9 on Saturday, May 12, 2018

The king of Wakanda has come on campus. Well, actually, celebrity commencement speaker Chadwick Boseman did. This Black Panther star fulfilled the hopes of his Howard University graduation ceremony audience in Washington D.C. with a “Wakanda Forever” gesture. Boseman also encouraged graduates to understand the  difference between aiming for a purpose rather than a job. And in a statement that should resonate with all individuals, wherever they are in life, Chadwick clarified that purpose “is an essential element of you, [and] the reason you are on the planet at this particular time in history.”

Now those are words to salute!

4. Batman Michael Keaton serves up superhero simplicity

Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na, BATMAN! Prior to becoming the Caped Crusader, Michael Keaton was studying journalism at Kent State. Keaton reflected on his experience at the university during his commencement speech this month, where he referred to a famous friend in offering advice to graduates (no, we’re not talking about Catwoman). Drawing on his buddy John Mayer’s song “Waiting on the World to Change,” Keaton told the students not to wait for the world to change. Keaton also encouraged them to focus on living up to the highest standards. “You are the world. You are the change. Be generous, be fair, be courageous, be yourself.”

5. Lady Antebellum sings out for taking risks

Lady Antebellum artists Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood had Georgia on their minds when they headed to the University of Georgia to serve as the celebrity undergraduate commencement speakers, and they treated the graduating class of more than 4,500 students to some words of wisdom. Charles and Dave provided inspiration for those who just graduated in a field that isn’t related to their dreams. Although both earned their degrees in business, they teamed up to follow their dreams and start writing songs. The celebrity musicians then took a risk by heading to Nashville, which provided their key message to graduates:

“Now you have a degree, and now you can take a big risk because you have an amazing diploma… Be open to things you haven’t even dreamed of,” Kelley urged.

Related Story: 9 times Chance the Rapper was a complete fanboy on Twitter

The amazing graduates of 2018 certainly were in for a treat with some of the amazing commencement speakers this graduation season. We hope it inspires them as they go further on their path to success, just like these brilliant celebs!