Stephanopoulos to Graduates: 'Always Err in the Direction of Kindness'

George Stephanopoulos delivers commencement speech at Franklin and Marshall College.
13:06 | 05/12/14

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Transcript for Stephanopoulos to Graduates: 'Always Err in the Direction of Kindness'
Graduates thank you members of the faculty fellow honorees. While the parents and family here today it is an honor. To share this -- would you. It was also is so -- advantage to give me -- nice memory of his wedding you know 23 years ago. And it helped replace -- -- that I am thinking of following -- that is not American currency again today for some reason it stuck my head. -- a time we were students together an -- And I don't even remember why this happened. But one night and decided to throw a Big Ten alone with a chili onions and cheese through my window right on in my bedroom pillow. Did most of the semester. And. It is listen -- stuck in my head for the next thirty years. When I started my -- even more that was I think I think -- -- every day during his tenure at Franklin and Marshall him. Impressed me the moment we met. And the fire season -- you see. The commitment encouragement that I know you won't feel from him and yes that's part of mission in his eyes was all -- when we first met. Thirty years ago so -- -- is he doing the work you were meant to do. Half. Here to help repay debt I have to NN NF NM through one of your sorrow and enhance. Not the grounds that don't worry. Through wanted to start -- -- -- -- and trustee Stan Brand. This is not only the world's biggest baseball fan he's also the top lawyer in Washington. For those of us who at one time they get caught up in the craziness. Of the capital. And twenty years ago during my time in the White House I was one of them I would smack in the middle of -- media firestorm. The details -- important right now but suffice to say I was and has on the cover of time magazine. Photographers reporters can't -- outside my apartment grand jury investigations the whole thing. And the first colony. -- Stan Brand I'm scared to death. And I was convinced my career was on the line and stand guided me through it. With very wise counsel and by making me laugh every day and see -- -- you won't have a home and -- that I will always be grateful as well. But most of all I'm excited to -- -- they -- all he graduates in the class of 2014. You have an eight year after -- very long term. And I'm not talking about -- nine hour drive from her. But -- my liking she's still here. Very creative uses the word counselor. I think you're single handedly resurrect that would bring -- back -- -- plane. And I talk about long -- I'm also not talking about that climbed to third floor stay here. I've heard a lot of us it really got. -- -- That is truly is these are I'm guessing they are not as daunting as it challenges you faced freshman. Wondering what Harry Potter house would be yours. And whether you would -- the high bar set by Franklin and Marshall. I can't hear you chose to be challenged and after all -- tasks. And countless hours Chad. You've met the challenge. Given yourself a great gift -- to get an education that will last. I -- -- leave here today confident that you made the right choice more than four years ago. Everything I know and tells me you did and I was actually struck by a study -- just this week. I think basically proves easy that's what happens when you get older when you guys -- general I was reading a study by the Gallup organization. But it's a great thing -- was he would look back thirty years of college graduates and was trying to find out. What made a difference. In college experience and here's what -- The graduates from most happy most engaged. Later in life. -- the -- -- develop meaningful emotional and educational connections with committed proud professors and managers while in college. That is exactly what happens here and then. It happened for him -- -- -- -- immediately thrust. Who took the challenge from classics professor Regan to solve the mystery of the fifteenth century Latin names -- -- gothic script. Andrew Miller and don't really. -- professor get her right upper level. Textbook and it is no surprise professor Henderson you learn as much from those -- as they learned from him. More -- I can mention now and Mike talked about in his talk is about the importance. Our relationships. So thank you professors for that today he appeared grateful for everything -- giving you. I know what happened for me looking back my -- college experience. I feel so lucky that I professors -- help open up new rules experience to me. Charles Hamilton American politics. Who coupled with fiery passion for freedom rider with -- -- time talking to the law professor. Wallace gray literature. I can still picture. I can still picture him in election looming just reading -- proper passage from Joyce and catching his -- -- his -- -- -- -- -- -- Teaching us to -- with our hearts. And -- feeling. Richard pious talk of the presidency. Years before I worked in the White House he instructed me in the aren't attracting -- presidential memo with rigor and precision. When I was sitting in their classrooms and I could not now I -- -- have imagined that I would one -- work for real president. We're that I had a chance to cover the major stories that shape our world. Or to interview that artists and writers to give me. Of course I never imagined that I would be interviewing Kermit the Frog girl whom the world's you start either but that happens. Don't hold my professors responsible for that. And indulge me for just a few minutes. To share the lessons I learned -- long -- have been very lucky to experience. Number -- and above all. Make time for quiet. Listen to thank her voice and speech to union silence. -- -- most to you -- and -- you -- be. I'm Greek orthodox and I come from a long line of Greek orthodox priests my father my grandfather my uncle my god -- my cousins. From the moment I could imagine what it would be like to -- the -- -- what was expected for me. And what I expected to be. Until they arrested the younger and he and -- sitting in class but alone with my thoughts and -- feeling hit -- with full force. I love my father. Revered his work and our tradition. But also new right and for the first time really. To his staff would not be mine. And -- -- for the longest time I couldn't hit couldn't it to anybody. I simply lived my life and hoped that the weight of expectation would lift away. But what I discovered. What I discovered -- I gravitated toward politics and journalism. Took my first internships on my college radio station -- Capitol Hill my parents supporting me every single step of the way. -- something beautiful and true. People who really love you. Once you do what you really love. So even -- you think your parents for all they'd -- bring you here let's do that now. That's even more -- independence. Reward them by -- your own now. Don't be afraid to take a chance. I know how tough this economy is for so many. How daunting can be defined her first job. How difficult it can be to make your way in the job market that doesn't carry the promise of security anymore. And I know that's especially true for all of you who've taken out loans to invest in your selves and your future. I was well over 34 it -- accomplishments. And -- a lot less expensive. But even as you deal with that pressure. Trying not to let the search for security. Stop them from doing work -- you look. The kind of working -- -- even when you're off the clock the kind of -- you do we even if you're not getting paid. And I can remember and maybe maybe -- faces right now he has since I was a political science and humanities major. He thing that was expected me coming out of congress to question him up all the time when he had little loss of now I know I didn't really want to be a lawyer. And that the question kept -- cropping up even though I loved what I was doing. In Washington. And I have resisted. Later in what might have been the single best free -- ever made I decided to leave a pretty great job on Capitol Hill. And had a Little Rock, Arkansas. Less than half the day. To work for Bill Clinton's presidential campaign it all looks very different now twenty more than twenty years later but at the time it looked like -- -- -- President Bush was riding high but I knew I wanted to -- -- to try. And I think part of a losing campaign for years before and they want to give up that taking one more chance I didn't know -- How that Campbell would pay off but I really would believe it was the right choice even if it never gotten off the ground. I hope you all stay curious. And never stop learning. When the best parts of my job right now is how many different parts of the world how many peoples' stories how much I wish I see how much information. It exposes -- to every day it all makes for a very rich very stimulating fast -- professional life. But I also have to remind myself every single day. Slowdown. To think. To remember what it's like to really study. We all spend too much time horizons we -- that we tracked. Tribune track news clicking on -- that all too often. Confirm what we already believe. -- get older car -- time as well. For serious books and sustained thought don't let the intellectual muscles he trained here goes -- Remember what you know right now an important distinction. The difference between information is available anywhere any time the -- of the -- And knowledge. Acknowledge the content mastery -- subject really understanding how things work. And make time also to -- I know how many of either party what women value and your life. It made me happy every investment for success the after school mentoring and training program developed -- -- class action -- and -- Tomlinson. And here. Maybe this community -- inspired me to learn. About one goal he initiative Monday -- has launched in South Africa. -- He uses sports as a way to connect young people to public health issues they could save their lives. Some of you like Mandy. We'll continue that work pursuing public service after graduation. Some of you'll make contributions in other ways. But almost all of us can dedicate at least -- part of our lives to helping other lives. With a great Czech playwright president Bartlett pothole call the -- impossible. Finally college graduates one last reading assignment. Look at a man named George Saunders. If you haven't read his work I hope you do one day he is a treasure. America's living master of the short story. And he has delivered the most profound and meaningful. Graduation speech I ever. A meditation on the power kindness. Convincing students -- -- that life is -- gradual process. Of becoming kinder. Any counsel them to start right now. Find out what opens you up he said what brings -- the most loving generous and unafraid version -- And as you experience everything that makes life exciting and meaningful and fun. Always there in the direction of kindness. Here in the direction of kindness. I love that phrase. And it's exactly what immunity right now. I wrapping up his speech you have to wait one more second -- agrees -- congratulations graduates.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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