The Best Columbia Graduation Speeches

Graduation is just around the corner, and soon we will be welcoming a new class of Columbians to the alumni community. 

Columbia's Commencement program dates back 258 years, and the iconic Morningside campus outdoor ceremony began in 1926. By tradition, the Commencement speaker is the University president, while many of the schools within Columbia have keynote speakers at their individual ceremonies -- and most give that distinction only to alumni.

From President Barack Obama to Caroline Kennedy, check out our hand-picked selection of the best quotes from recent Columbia graduation addresses below, and leave your words of wisdom for the next class of graduates by sharing a Grad Gram here. 

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Why Pursue Career Coaching?

By Eric Horwitz '90CC of the Columbia Career Coaches Network


Having a strong foundation of education is critical to an informed citizen in a free market society. A mixture of moral clarity and scientific reasoning can form the foundation for an active life of contributing and receiving abundance. Since the beginning of the university system, great men and eventually women were sequestered in a search for these empirical truths. Education is meant to develop individuals into contributing members of the social fabric.

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An Essential Friendship: Buffett and Gates

Gates___Buffet.pngEarlier this year, Columbia hosted a conversation between two iconic public figures‚ÄĒbillionaire investor Warren Buffett '51BUS and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. For that conversation, Buffett¬†and Gates sat down with PBS and Bloomberg TV host Charlie Rose to discuss their friendship, philanthropy, business, innovation, and leadership.

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Earth Days at Columbia

On April 22, 2017, the world will celebrate the 47th anniversary of Earth Day, the modern environmental movement that began in 1970. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. 

The initial Earth Day marked some interesting activities on Columbia's Morningside campus as well. Read on for a look at Earth Days at Columbia, then and now, and some Earth Day facts about how Columbia is a leader in sustainability, from academics to dining halls.

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Your Weekly Low Down | April 7, 2017

Check out the latest news and events from your Columbia alumni community.

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Want More Creativity in Your Career?

Alumna Lynn Berger '84, '90TC, of the Columbia Career Coaches Network, weighs in on how to have more creativity in the workplace through visualization strategies, and how it can help with your career and personal growth. 

Having more creativity in your work is a perfect, almost sure way to enjoy feelings of growth. And most of us have more creative powers than we give ourselves credit for.

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Film Directed, Produced by Columbia Alumni Set to Premiere at Tribeca

KEEP_THE_CHANGE__COURTESY_OF_KEEP_THE_CHANGE__1.jpg

Rachel Israel's film, Keep the Change, has been a long time coming.

The 2013 School of the Arts alumna's creation, which premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival this month, began as a short film for her graduate school thesis project. But Israel knew it had to become a feature length film.

"I had the idea of the feature even before I made the MFA short," she told The Low Down.

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Your Weekly Low Down | March 31, 2017

Exclusive events, a new membership opportunity, and valuable career advice in this week's roundup. 

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Trying to Change? How Self-Doubt Can Actually Help

Alumna Melody Wilding '11SW, of the Columbia Career Coaches Network, spoke about change and self-doubt during a recent TEDx talk. Read her thoughts and check out the talk below:

When it comes to change, we're often our own worst enemy. Anyone who has tried to embark on a professional or personal challenge is familiar with the voice of the inner critic that says things like "you're not good enough," "this is a stupid idea," "nothing will ever work out." Most self-development advice espouses the need to overcome self-doubt and banish negative thoughts. But as a therapist and Human Behavior professor, I know that this prevailing notion that calls for eradicating so-called "negative emotions" is not just plain wrong‚ÄĒit can actually backfire. While it's true that self-doubt can be toxic, what's more problematic is the fact that we never learn to deal with this normal, expected emotion in healthy ways. Any change brings up fear and worries‚ÄĒand learning to cope with uncertainty is a skill.

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BONUS: Looking for Thinkspiration

Attachment-1_(1).jpegWe enjoyed talking to the Design Studio so much that we wanted to share more of the candid conversations we had about Design Thinking (and much more).

We wanted to get a better idea of who Adam and Alice are, not just as Design Studio representatives, but as design thinkers in general. What we got was a look into how they look at the world around them and what they see in the future of design thinking.

Spoiler alert: There's a blooper reel at the end!

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