WASHINGTON - NBC Nightly News anchor and Managing Editor Brian Williams gave an address filled with a mix of humor and called on students to achieve more to an estimated crowd of 25,000 people gathered in the National Mall for the George Washington University Commencement ceremony.
Williams tells the told the crowd how he attended GW for a semester but not before first enrolling at Catholic University.
Williams says with money for tuition dwindling, “the taxi meter was running.”
He dropped out of both schools and says
I walked out of college for the last time. I like to say to people I was in a big hurry and I needed to go make a living and I never looked back. But the truth is, as the last college I attended, I look back every day. And I look in the mirror, and it’s one of my great regrets. Don’t forget that by being here today that you have now achieved something I was not able to achieve.
Finishing, he tells students, “You don’t actually have to build a rocket and take us into space but please, take us somewhere. Please keep us moving, push us, lift us up, make us better.”
Check out our list of last year's best speakers too.
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Sheryl Sandberg At Barnard
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Denzel Washington At UPENN
Washington delivered and inspiring speech about the necessity of failure.
Tom Hanks At Yale
Tom Hanks gave the address at Yale graduation, in which he implored the class to "please do not turn off your electronic devices." A warm and funny speech.
John Legend At Kean University
Kean University students got two for the price of one. John Legend gave a speech and a swoon-worthy performance at their commencement.
Arianna At Sarah Lawrence
"Perseverance is the difference between success and failure," Arianna told Sarah Lawrence grads in her witty and thought-provoking speech. "Failure is not the opposite of success, it is the stepping stone to success."
Obama At Coast Guard
Obama warned Coast Guard that they have "never been more important" in his address at the Academy.
Ronan Farrow At Simons Rock
Ronan Farrow gave an informative speech about what young people can do for the world at Simon's Rock College of the Bard.
Michelle Obama At Spelman
Michelle Obama gave an amazing speech at Spelman College, detailing the school's history, and telling grads, "Do big things."
Jack Nicholson At Brown
OK. So this isn't exactly a commencement speech. But you have to watch it, trust me!