Memorable commencement remarks – President Obama gives a commencement address last year to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy's graduating class. Some remarks: "When tough times inevitably come ... we do what Americans have always done. We remember our moral compass, that we are citizens with obligations to each other; that we all have responsibilities; that we're all in this together; that we rise and fall as one."
Memorable commencement remarks – Winston Churchill, seen at Harrow School in 1958, gave a stirring wartime address there in 1941: "Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never -- in nothing, great or small, large or petty -- never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."
Memorable commencement remarks – Steve Jobs, seen in 2011, gave the commencement address at Stanford in 2005. Some memorable remarks: "Our time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." He also said, "Stay hungry. Stay foolish."
Memorable commencement remarks – Theodor Seuss Geisel, "Dr. Seuss," read a poem for his 1977 address to Lake Forest College. This is it in its entirety: "My uncle ordered popovers/from the restaurant's bill of fare./And, when they were served,/he regarded them/with a penetrating stare./Then he spoke great words of wisdom/as he sat there on that chair:/'To eat these things,'/said my uncle,/'you must exercise great care./You may swallow down what's solid/BUT/you must spit out the air!'/And as you partake of the world's bill of fare,/that's darned good advice to follow./Do a lot of spitting out the hot air./And be careful what you swallow."
Memorable commencement remarks – Gen. George Marshall, right, delivered an address at Harvard on June 5, 1947, which essentially outlined the Marshall Plan. One quote: "It is logical that the United States should do whatever it is able to do to assist in the return of normal economic health in the world, without which there can be no political stability and no assured peace. Our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos."
Memorable commencement remarks – Will Ferrell makes comedy part of the Class Day address at Harvard in 2003. He said, "After months of secret negotiations, several hundred secret ballots, and a weekend retreat with Vice President Dick Cheney in his secret mountain bunker, a Class Day speaker was chosen, and it was me. You obviously have made a grave error. But it's too late now. So let's just go with it." He also did an impersonation of George W. Bush.
Memorable commencement remarks – "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling speaks at Harvard's commencement in 2008. "Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared."