Graduation Speech : Commencement Speech

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Some people have asked to read the commencement address I delivered this morning to the 2013 graduates of Butler University. So here it is. My own commencement speaker, who shall remain nameless, began with a lame joke about how these speeches only come in two varieties: Short and bad. This raised my expectations, and then he went onto speak for 26 minutes, so I’m just going to tell you now: 12 minutes flat, 11:45 if you don’t laugh. Congratulations to all of you here today, and I do mean all of you–parents, families, friends, professors, coaches. Every single person in Hinkle today has given something to make this moment possible for the class of 2013–well, except for me. I really just showed up and put on the robe. But special congratulations to you graduates. Before we get to the Life Advice You’ll Soon Forget portion of the program, I want to engage in a time-honored tradition of American commencement addresses: Stealing from other commencement addresses, in this case one by the children’s television host Fred Rogers. Think, if you will, of some of the people who helped get you to today, people who’ve loved you and without whose care and generosity you might not have found yourself here, graduating from Butler, or watching someone you love graduate, or seeing your students graduate. Think for one minute of those who have loved you up into this day. I’ll keep the time. Those people are so proud of you today. We will return to those people soon, but first I have to deliver
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