'Making Your Mark Is Hard' And Other Tips For Grads

May 21, 2012
Originally published on May 21, 2012 7:21 pm
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We're going to stay on campus for another minute or two, to hear a sampling of advice from this year's class of commencement speakers, including President Obama and Mitt Romney.

MITT ROMNEY: Sometimes, as Dr. Victor Frankel observed in his book for the ages, it's not a matter of what we're asking of life but rather, what life is asking of us; how often, the answer to our own problems is to help others with theirs.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Remember that making your mark on the world is hard. It takes patience. It takes commitment. It comes with plenty of setbacks, and it comes with plenty of failures. But whenever you feel that creeping cynicism, whenever you hear those voices say you can't make a difference, whenever somebody tells you to set your sights lower, the trajectory of this country should give you hope.

DR. SHIRLEY ROBINSON PIPPINS: Graduates, you will leave here today, yes, with great joy. You will also leave here today with a heavy burden - the burden of the skills, abilities and spiritual gifts you have developed during your time at Victory.

MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: There is no telling what the future holds. This is an exciting time in your life. And it's also an exciting time in history. More than any other generation that has walked the Earth, you are free to pursue your dreams.

MARIA SHRIVER: Women, I hope you will look at your toughness and your softness. Men, I hope you find your gentleness, and I hope you wrap it into your manliness.

DAVID GREGORY: Life after today is just a daily lesson in humility, OK?Are you - can you handle that? is the question. I mean, look at you. You're on top of the world; I see your smiling, beaming faces. You know, you're full of confidence. You're about to enter into the world. I mean, you all have persuaded yourselves that this is a good look.


GREGORY: It's not a good look.


CORNISH: That was TV newsman David Gregory, speaking at Emerson College; Maria Shriver at the University of Southern California, Annenberg School of Communication; New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the University of North Carolina; Dr. Shirley Robinson Pippins at Victory University; President Obama at Barnard College; and Mitt Romney at Liberty University. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.