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  • Commencement Speakers 2011

    The graduates at Kean University didn't just get a commencement speech out of singer John Legend, but a performance as well. "Find ways to give. Find ways to serve. Find ways to contribute to society," Legend told the students. Legend also sat down at the piano to sing "Green Light" and "Wake Up Everybody."
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  • Commencement Speakers 2011

    Twitter co-founder Biz Stone told graduates he was able to fulfill a boyhood dream this year by coming back to his hometown Babson College to receive an honorary degree and deliver the 2011 commencement address. Stone encouraged graduates to "create your own opportunities, to be infinitely creative, to embrace failure with all your heart, to ask questions and take the time to walk in another person's shoes."
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  • Commencement Speakers 2011

    Known for his free-flowing tears, Speaker of the House John Boehner lived up to his reputation while delivering the commencement speech at Catholic University. Boehner teared up during a story about the morning of his leadership election in 2006, when he went to 7 a.m. mass and prayed for the Virgin Mary's guidance. When he thought he received no sign, he got a call from his former high school football coach, Gerry Faust, who went on to coach at Notre Dame. "It was old Coach Faust," Boehner said, choking up, "calling to wish me luck, and telling me you can do it. You know, I've never gotten a call from the Blessed Mother before and I don't think I ever will, but I got to tell you it was pretty darn close."
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  • Commencement Speakers 2011

    The graduates at Tulane University got an unexpected treat from their commencement speaker, Grammy-award winner Stevie Wonder, who serenaded the crowd with an impromptu performance of "You Are the Sunshine of My Life."
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  • Commencement Speakers 2011

    "Welcome to the world, UMass class of 2011," said NASA astronaut Catherine "Cady" Coleman to the 2011 graduating class of the University of Massachusetts. Coleman wins the prize for traveling the farthest to give her speech, seeing as she gave her May 13 speech via videotape from the International Space Station orbiting Earth.
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  • Commencement Speakers 2011

    Speaking to the graduates at Sarah Lawrence College, Arianna Huffington warned them not to be undone by the occasional failure. "My mother told me failure is not the opposite of success, it's just a stepping stone to success," said Huffington. The social-media-savvy Huffington also had some advice when it comes to keeping up in this age of constant technology. "As we live in a more hyperconnected world, we need desperately to learn how to unplug and recharge," she said.
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  • Commencement Speakers 2011

    Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg had some sage advice for the graduates of Barnard College: "If several years ago you stopped challenging yourself, you're going to be bored. If you work for some guy who you used to sit next to and, really, he should be working for you, you're going to feel undervalued and you won't come back. So, my heartfelt message to all of you is, and start thinking about this now: Do not leave before you leave. Do not lean back, lean in. Put your foot on that gas pedal and keep it there until the day you have to make a decision, and then make a decision," Sandberg told the graduates.
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