Every May, new graduates gather together for a formal ceremony before they start their working lives.
Graduates sit and listen to commencement speeches by prominent people who share their own stories and observations on life.
On May 15 President Obama, attended Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey, and told graduates that tough problems can’t be solved in isolation and tough questions need to be asked of those you disagree with. He also said that compromise is important at every stage.
“In politics and in life, ignorance is not a virtue,” said Obama. “It’s not cool to not know what you’re talking about. That’s not keeping it real or telling it like it is. That’s not challenging political correctness. That’s just not knowing what you’re talking about.”
Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, spoke on May 14 to new graduates at the University of California, Berkeley, shared her story of resilience.
“I learned about the depths of sadness and the brutality of loss,” she said. “But I also learned that when life sucks you under, you can kick against the bottom, break the surface and breathe again. I learned that in the face of the void, or in the face of any challenge, you can choose joy and meaning.”
Other notable speakers across the U.S. were Oprah Winfrey who gave a speech to graduates at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Russell Wilson, quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks football team, returning to his alma mater the University of Wisconsin, in Madison.
President Obama’s full remarks can be found here.