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Commencement Speeches


May 29, 2018

Charlayne Hunter-Gault

Greetings Class of 2018 and to all who help you be that!  Or as they say in South Africa: All Protocols observed! I am so very honored to be here for so many reasons, not least to remember with you your departed classmate,  Tatissa Zunguze. , now an Ancestor.    And like all Ancestors,  I know […]

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Leslie Moreno

Bienvenidos familiares, compañeras, y amigos,   First, I would like to recognize that we are on sacred Tongva land, and on this land today, we are celebrating a moment in our lives that we have long anticipated with excitement and fear. For many of us, this day has been one that was awaited alongside family […]

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May 9, 2017

Reshma Saujani, Founder of Girls Who Code

Graduates, deans, parents, and guests: thank you so much for inviting me to share this day with you. I know it’s traditional for a commencement speaker to start off with a joke about which bar everyone’s going to afterward, or the best burger joint on campus, but anyone who knows me knows that I am […]

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Vivian Wei-Zhou Zhang

Dear friends, family, and family of friends: Today, we’re celebrating this moment in our journeys, and we’re celebrating the journeys that have brought us to this moment. It’s my honor to share with you some thoughts from the road.Our first semester here, Scripps publicly launched its “We Want More” fundraising campaign. I remember the black […]

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May 14, 2016

Madeleine Albright, 64th U.S. Secretary of State

…You will embark on a new stage in your lives – meeting different people, traveling far and wide, and experiencing life as you never have before.You will be able to face the future with confidence because the skills and values you developed here at Scripps will go along with you.This means you are as well-equipped as any young people could be to continue your search for truth in an uncertain and often confusing world.

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Catherine Chiang

Hello and good evening. I am incredibly honored to be here, with the class of 2016 and many of the people who have supported us along our journey. I always knew there was something magical about Scripps. I still remember walking through the gated archway of Balch Hall for the first time, stepping into the […]

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May 20, 2015

Sarah Kay

Sometimes it is hard to believe that we can be working on the same thing. Sometimes the way you build is so different from the way someone else does. You want to be big and visible and radical and loud, someone else wants to work quietly, under the radar, out of the public eye. It is possible to have many front lines in the same war. It is possible that the people you disagree with are really trying to do the same work, trying to build the same future, even if we see it different ways. You can lay bricks until walls are constructed, until a temple is built. Or you can dream towards a temple until you figure out which walls to build and which bricks to lay. You can shape behavior until it changes minds. Or you change minds until it shapes behavior. You create options by choice and example.

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Olivia Buntaine ’15

I know that each and everyone of us in these green robes have our own story of earthy endurance, growing roots deep into rich soil, striving and grappling underground. But we are ready to start growing upwards. Now we can complement the orange trees, and let our endurance tell a different story of beauty. Congratulations class of 2015, we will endure.

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May 17, 2014

Nonie Creme ’94

College is a crucial time to explore yourself and your mind. Try stuff. Develop opinions, and just be in an environment where your BIG job and purpose is simply to think. These years are gold dust. Trust me, you’ll carry on reinventing yourself for the rest of your life, but what you learnt here at Scripps will creep in and tap you on the shoulder at the most amazing times. You may not even realize you knew those things, but they’re in there.

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Sanggeet Manirajah ’14

I will leave you not with a quote, but with a question. As you take this first of many steps on this journey, what will you carry with you?

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May 18, 2013

Ruth Owades ’66

At Scripps you have laid the foundation for the next chapter of your life — whether it is in the Boardroom or the Operating Room, the Classroom or the Courtroom — and always the Family Room, however we fashion it — know that you are well prepared to achieve your dreams.

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Roshni Kakaiya ’13

Dear “real world:” Get ready. The Scripps Class of 2013 is taking over. And there ain’t no goin’ back now.

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May 12, 2012

Zainab Salbi

You have a choice to make today. And the choice is fully yours. You can live your life hiding from your dreams or you can live your dreams today and now. You can live your life being afraid of love, showing it or receiving it, or you can dance in that love, expressing it to all around you and to yourself. You can live your life escaping from your truth, keeping your secrets buried, keeping your silence, keeping yourself busy with this thought or that doubt. And this job or that shirt. Or you can live your life with the courage to face your own truth. To live your truth, to speak your truth, and to be your truth. It is your choice to make.

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Claire Hasting Calderón ’12

I’d like so very much to send us off that way, knowing that we will not be afraid to challenge what we are given. That we will keep digging deep, deep, deep until we find those juicy roots, that we will plant our uncompromising seedlings and water them fiercely, to make our deliberate and daring mark on the world.

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May 15, 2011

Elizabeth Robbins Turk ’83

Shouldering the wrong idea may bring unseen richness. This might even give you space to recognize opportunity and the chance to accept a dream too big to have been dreamt. That is what we all wish for you: magnanimous dreams and expansive friendships.

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Joss Taylor Greene ’11

If we can find the courage to define happiness according to our own comfort and intuition, we may stop competing for the sake of it and instead find ways of complementing and supporting each other. We may then define success not according to our individual superiority but as collective participation in a world where we can all be our fullest selves. Not fighting the wind to prove our own strength but building nests in community.

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May 16, 2010

Sue Monk Kidd

Find a purpose grand enough for your life. And whatever your necessary fire is, your genius turns out to be, remember, in some way, it is necessary for the world too. Try to love the world despite what you see out there. Go make your big beautiful dent, and as you do so come down on the side of boldness. If you err, may it be for too much audacity, and not too little. For you really are enough.

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Ann Kidd Taylor

Today at 34, when I think about all the possible conversations that could go on inside of you at this moment, I hope yours will include a serious discussion about your necessary fire. I hope it will allow you to listen deeply to yourself, perhaps, even give you the courage to invite surprise.

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Litza Johnson ’10

It’s so important for us to realize that as valuable as our differences are, there is always some place we can connect and that compassion and respect can be easy. If we look for the differences, we will find them. But if we look for the similarities we’ll find those too. I truly believe that if we approach the rest of our lives with this mindset, the opportunities will be limitless.

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May 17, 2009

Gabrielle Giffords ’93

So, be passionate. Be courageous. Be strong. If you remember these things, you will make me proud of you, you will make Scripps proud, you will make your parents proud, and you will make the United States proud of you and grateful for the unique treasures you will give to it.

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