5 Most Famous Vassar College Commencement Speeches
Arianna Huffington will be giving this year's commencement speech at Vassar College, but she's not the biggest celebrity to talk to a local graduating class. Did you know these 5 mega-stars gave graduation speeches right here in Poughkeepsie?
The star of Forest Gump, Castaway and, of course, Bosom Buddies addressed the class of 2005.
In 2001 the acclaimed author spoke at Vassar graduation and surprised the audience with a charitable contribution to Dutchess Outreach. He also encouraged the other wealthy parents to do the same. Here's what King said to everyone in attendance:
Dutchess Outreach is one local organization dedicated to helping the hungry, the sick, and the homeless. They're at 70 South Hamilton Street... a part of Poughkeepsie where you might feel uncomfortable walking at night... I intend to give $20,000 to Dutchess Outreach, in honor of the Class of 2001. I would take it kindly if those of you who are here today would help to match that amount... I don't ask that you do this because it will solve the problem of hunger and want in Poughkeepsie or Dutchess County, let alone in the whole world, but because you'll enjoy your own coming meal more fully knowing that you shared your joy and your good fortune in having been a part of this happy occasion.
The star of Friends is also a Vassar Alum, and was asked to speak at the 2010 commencement. Kudrow spoke of her own personal experience at Vassar and her journey from Biology major to acclaimed actress:
Samuel L Jackson
in 2004 Jackson's daughter, Zoe, graduated from Vassar. What father would turn down his daughter's request to speak at her college commencement? The Pulp Fiction actor did a pretty good job of not using too much vulgarity and gave some great advice to the graduates about standing up for what they believe in:
Find something that moves you or pisses you off, and do something about it. Put your self out there. Be brave. Be bold. Take action. You have a voice. Speak up, especially when something tries to keep you silent. Take a stand for what’s right. Raise a ruckus and make a change. You may not always be popular, but you’ll be part of something larger and bigger and greater that yourself. Besides, making history is extremely cool.
The editor-in-cheif of the Huffington Post will speak to the Vassar College graduating class of 2015 on May 31 at 10am. We don't know what she will be saying, but we're pretty sure that you'll be able to see it online... somewhere... (hufingtonpost.com)