Importance Of Commencement Speech

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Commencement Speech This past fall, I took a class that assigned a commencement speech instead of a final. (Good practice right?) While trying to understand purpose of the assignment (by which I mean, trying to understand how to get an A), I asked why colleges have students speak at graduation. A classmate expounded on my question. She didn’t see why we should have one at all. After all, it doesn’t make that much sense, especially when schools invited extraordinarily accomplished adults to make a speech at the same event. I mean, who can compete with that? I am the 49th Wellesley student who has addressed her classmates at commencement. As some of you know, Hillary Clinton, then Hillary Rodham was the first student to speak at a Wellesley Commencement. Her class had spent the previous semester lobbying the administration to allow a student to speak at the ceremony. I know some alumnae from the class of ’69, and I can only imagine what a…passionate… campaign that must have been. When Hillary Rodham addressed her fellow students in 1969, she shared her thoughts about the role that young people play in criticizing the generations before them. Wellesley took that message to heart and has been a bastion of criticism ever since. I don’t consider myself to be nearly as wise a Hillary Clinton, even 21-year-old Hillary Clinton fresh from college, so I had to turn to other sources for the purpose of a student commencement speech. Although illustrious Chinese philosopher Confucius
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