The 10 Most Memorable Graduation Speakers

7. Toni Morrison, Wellesley College: Nobel Prize author Toni Morrison talked to the 2004 class of Wellesley College, in Massachusetts, about the beauty of adulthood, about happiness and about generational conformity. She stressed to the graduates of the women's college that they had the power to break away from the failures and expectations of her generation and create their own paths.

"You are your own stories and therefore free to imagine and experience what it means to be human without wealth. What it feels like to be human without domination over others, without reckless arrogance, without fear of others unlike you, without rotating, rehearsing and reinventing the hatreds you learned in the sandbox. And although you don't have complete control over the narrative -- no author does, I can tell you -- you could nevertheless create it."

8. George C. Marshall, Harvard University: Former U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall outlined the program for economic recovery in post-World War II Europe during his famous June 5,1947, commencement address at Harvard University. The speech signaled America's commitment to rebuilding war-torn Europe and has since become known as the Marshall Plan Speech.

"And yet the whole world of the future hangs on a proper judgment. It hangs, I think, to a large extent on the realization of the American people, of just what are the various dominant factors. What are the reactions of the people? What are the justifications of those reactions? What are the sufferings? What is needed? What can best be done? What must be done?"

9. Kermit the Frog, Long Island University: Wearing a cap and gown, Kermit the Frog received an honorary doctorate and gave the 1996 commencement speech at Long Island University's Southampton College. The green frog asked the graduating class to protect his amphibious friends and preserve the beauty of the environment.

"And so I say to you, the 1996 graduates of Southampton Graduate Campus, you are no longer tadpoles. The time has come for you to drop your tails and leave this swamp. But I am sure that wherever I go as I travel around the world, I will find each and every one of you working your tails off to save other swamps and give those of us who live there a chance to survive. We love you for it."

10. Theodor Geisel, Lake Forest College: In 1977, Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, received an honorary degree as a Doctor of Humane Letters from Lake Forest College in Chicago. After receiving the degree, Seuss surprised the commencement crowd with an original poem, "My Uncle Terwilliger on the Art of Eating Popovers."

"My uncle ordered popovers from the restaurant's bill of fare. And, when they were served, he regarded them with a penetrating stare...

"Then he spoke great Words of Wisdom as he sat there on that chair: "To eat these things," said my uncle, "you must exercise great care. You may swallow down what's solid... But ... you must spit out the air!"

"And as you partake of the world's bill of fare, that's darned good advice to follow. Do a lot of spitting out the hot air. And be careful what you swallow."

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