This Year’s Most Inspiring Graduation Moments

Read these 8 most inspirational graduation speeches from 2018.
May is a wonderful month. From the longer days to the colorful views, we see signs of hope and new beginnings everywhere we turn.

Each new beginning brings with it an ending. But each ending brings an opportunity to stop, reflect, and find inspiration to make the new beginning something worthy of that first step.

For the graduates in our community, May brings with it a full sense of new beginnings. One that is fueled by graduation celebrations — moments to look back and moments to be challenged and inspired!

In an effort to celebrate the accomplishments of this year’s graduating class and to find opportunities to discover fresh inspiration in the everydayness of our lives, the team at Grotto shares some of our favorite inspirational moments from the Class of 2018’s commencement activities.

The University of Notre Dame

“Today, you have the opportunity to decide what you will be beyond this point. Will you say ‘yes’ to God, to His plan in your life? [Will you] not be afraid to stand with those that need you to protect and defend them? What will be your response to our world which needs you to make a difference and speak for the voiceless and help the voiceless have a voice?” —Sr. Norma Pimentel, M.J.

The Catholic University of America

“[T]his is your calling in this hour in our history: to tell a new story for a new America. The stories we are telling ourselves today are too small, too fearful. They are not generous enough to inspire us to meet the challenges we face. We need a new narrative that will define us and hold us together as one people with a common purpose. A new narrative that will help us to see beyond our narrow individualisms and the mentality of our ‘group.’ We need to talk about American holiness and heroism.” —Most Rev. José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles

Villanova University

“So go for it — run toward your future. Just don’t run away from failure. Because when you’re running from something, you can think of nothing else but running as fast as possible in the other direction, and that’s when you will miss the stuff that makes life beautiful.” —Robert F. Moran

Duquesne University

“At the end of the day…as you go to your respective careers, as you start your families, start to make money, or whatever you decide to do…you ought to be able to stand in the mirror and be able to say, ‘Whatever God has blessed me with, I’ve shared it with somebody else.'” —Sylvester Turner, mayor of Houston
Watch the commencement speech here.

Gonzaga University

“By simply grounding more of our choices, big and small, in kindness, compassion, and love, we can channel our power for the betterment of not only our own families and communities, but also for those around the world. So, whatever your calling or future profession, whether it’s engineering or teaching, business or politics, or something else entirely, recognize that you already possess transformational power.” —Andy Dwonch, Mercy Corps

Assumption College

“Don’t worry about doing great things. Do little things with great love. It is bedrock spiritual truth that you can live by. Great things in the eyes of God are acts of love, however simple and hidden.” —Bishop Robert Barron, auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles
Watch the commencement speech here.

College of Saint Benedict

“[A]lways be intellectually curious and seize opportunities to learn. Be lifelong learners.… Education is never a waste. Everything you learn and do makes you who you are today and will be in the future.” —Beth Dinndorf ’73, former president of Columbia College
Watch the commencement speech here.

Franciscan University of Steubenville

“You may not know where you’re going, but you have every reason to believe that it is going to be good. That’s not blind optimism. That is Christian hope…the hope that we are all called to have even when we cannot see the future; even when the path and plans we’ve made have changed; even when we meet momentary failure; even when we wait a long time.” —Jeanette DeMelo ’98, editor-in-chief of EWTN’s National Catholic Register

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