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15 Memorable Celebrity Graduation Speeches

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On June 12, 2005, just one year after he was diagnosed with cancer, Steve Jobs delivered an inspiring, impassioned and candid commencement address to the graduating students at Stanford University. He talked about getting fired from Apple, finding the courage to follow his dreams, and even how to live as fully as possible before dying. "Your time is limited," he said, "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."

Over the years, a number of celebrities have delivered memorable commencement speeches. Some are poignant, some hilarious, some endlessly inspiring, and some are completely unexpected.

Steven Colbert, Northwestern, 2011

"Thankfully, dreams can change. If we'd all stuck with our first dream, the world would be overrun with cowboys and princesses. So whatever your dream is right now, if you don't achieve it, you haven't failed and you're not some loser -- but just as importantly -- if you do get your dream, you're not a winner."

Will Ferrell, Harvard, 2003

"As most of you are probably aware, I didn't graduate from Harvard. In fact, I never even got a call back from Admissions. Damn you, Harvard! Damn you! I told myself I would not get emotional today. But damn it, I'm here, and sometimes it's just good to cry..."

Amy Poehler, Harvard, 2011

"I can only assume I am here today because of my subtle and layered work in a timeless classic entitled Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo."

To read many more favorites (including graduations speeches from Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, J.K. Rowling and Oprah Winfrey), check out the story at Parade.