So, graduates of today's schools, no matter what topic you studied or where you attended school, heed the advice from these great speeches. As graduates, you are among an elite group of people who had the opportunity to attend school (whether high school, college or graduate school). First, really thank those who supported your journey. Then remember that you are expected to use this experience to not only better your own life situation and your family's, but also to improve the world around you. An opportunity? Absolutely. Yet, your degree is also a responsibility. This is what many commencement speakers hope graduates remember from their speeches: To make each day count and to make a positive difference no matter what you end up doing.
Russell is the vice dean and the director of the Executive Coaching and Leadership Development Program at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. She is a licensed industrial and organizational psychologist and has more than 25 years of experience coaching executives and consulting on leadership and career management.