15 of the Greatest Celebrity Commencement Speeches


We’re almost through the month of May, and you know what that means: it’s college commencement speech season! While some of us had boring academics speak at our college graduations, there are a lot of other people who get to listen to folks like Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Amy Poehler, or Meryl Streep. So if you’re like me and are still annoyed that the creator of Joan of Arcadia was the celebrated guest who spoke while you baked in your black polyester cap and gown, take a short break and listen to these famous (and, generally, hilarious) people give advice to 22-year-olds.

John Green, Butler University, May 2013

Julie Andrews, University of Colorado, May 2013

Jane Lynch, Smith College, May 2012

Neil Gaiman, University of the Arts, May 2012

Conan O’Brien, Dartmouth College, June 2011

Amy Poehler, Harvard College, May 2011

Meryl Streep, Barnard College, May 2010

Lisa Kudrow, Vassar College, May 2010

Dolly Parton, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, May 2009

Ellen DeGeneres, Tulane University, May 2009

Oprah Winfrey, Stanford Univerisity, June 2008

Stephen Colbert, Knox College, May 2006

David Foster Wallace, Kenyon College, May 2005

Jon Stewart, The College of William & Mary, May 2004

Toni Morrison, Wellesley College, May 2004