Graduations are notably boring. Certainly, we love to celebrate our graduates for the5 seconds they cross the stage, but the other 3 hours are a chore. They only people who disagree are those who graduated from the University of Southern California who got to hear from comedian and honorary PhD, Dr. Will Ferrell.
The comedian is an unashamed alumnus of USC and a frequent presence on campus. But, he did not simply tell stories about the good ol’ days. Instead, he talked about how he had to move back home with his mother after graduation.
“I wasn’t extremely confident that I would succeed,” he said. “After moving back to L.A. I would sit down to a meal of spaghetti topped with mustard with only $20 in my checking account. I thought, ‘Oh well, I can always be a substitute school teacher.’ Yes, I was afraid — you are never not afraid. I am still afraid.”
He ended the commencement speech with a reminder of the family you make while in college.”If you do have a moment where you feel down, just think about the support you have from this great Trojan family.”
Then it happened. “Imagine me — literally picture my face — signing this song, gently into your ear.”
Cue the most inspirational acapella version of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”
Everyone is afraid and doesn’t know what the future holds. You are not alone. Will Ferrell loves you.
Now that’s how you do a commencement speech.