Graduation season has finally come to a close — but that doesn’t mean you can’t continue to live by the advice espoused in the stellar speeches given this year.
The 2017 commencement speakers addressed politics, surviving life’s hardships, teamwork, and innovation.
In an Instagram campaign called #BIBrightFuture, Business Insider curated the most inspiring quotes from speeches which were delivered by presidential candidates, CEOs, actors, and returning alumni.
Here are some of our favorites:
Howard Schultz at Arizona State University
Howard Schultz, former Starbucks CEO, expressed his confidence in younger generations while stating “my generation has not made it easy for you.”
He encouraged the graduates of Arizona State University’s class of 2017 to have more innovative and inclusive dreams that will “enhance the promise of America.”
Sheryl Sandberg at Virginia Tech
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg took the opportunity at Virginia Tech’s graduation to discuss a topic familiar to both the Virginia Tech community and Sandberg: resilience.
She spoke about the importance of relationships and the power they provide during difficult times. Sandberg recounted her feelings after her husband’s tragic death in 2015 and the people who helped her just by being there.
“You don’t have to do something huge,” she said. “You don’t have to wait until someone tells you exactly what they need. And you don’t have to be someone’s best friend from the first grade to show up.”
She invited the graduates to continue to lift each other up even beyond graduation. “Strength like that makes those who see it stronger,” she said. “Hope like that makes all of us more hopeful.”
Will Ferrell at the University of Southern California
Will Ferrell delivered the commencement address to the University of Southern California’s graduating class of 2017.
As a USC alumnus, he told the audience that he once began his career as an intern with NBC Sports, only to realize that comedy was his true path.
He told graduates that everybody experiences self-doubt. “You’re never not afraid,” he said. “I’m still afraid.”
And in true Will Ferrell fashion, he ended his speech with an epic rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”