NPR – “Something funny has happened to the familiar commencement address in the past 10 years. That something is YouTube. Steve Jobs’ 2005 address at Stanford, to take just one example, has been viewed upwards of 20 million times. We are now in a golden age of the commencement speech as a hilarious, inspiring form of popular art. And to pay our respects to graduations past and present, NPR Ed and the NPR Visuals team have built a searchable, shareable database of over 300 commencement speeches dating back to 1774. Since the colonial era, young graduates in stiff gowns and itchy mortarboards have been forced to sit through this one last lecture. On rare occasions, politicians have used commencements to say important things, like John F. Kennedy announcing a nuclear test ban. Other lucky graduates have been treated to profound musings by literary geniuses like Joseph Brodsky and Kurt Vonnegut, or calls to action by activists like Gloria Steinem.”
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