WATERVILLE, Maine -- Two-time Academy Award winner Robert Redford is encouraging college graduates to be fearless in a world of challenges and to become collaborators with others and the environment to overcome life's daunting difficulties.
Redford was the commencement speaker Sunday at Maine's Colby College. He received an honorary degree of fine arts from the school before an audience of thousands, including nearly 500 graduates.
"You're stepping into a world that's, well, pretty rough. It's pretty chaotic, pretty divisive," Redford told them. "You've got climate change, you've got debt, you've got wars, you've got political paralysis. It's kind of a grim story. But the story, I think, can be retold, and I really believe that you're the ones to do it."
The 78-year-old actor, director, and producer told the graduates they have been given the tools to make a difference.
"Don't be afraid to take a risk, don't be afraid of failure, be bold," he said, adding that what the world needs is "collaboration and connection," not only between people and people but also between people and the environment.
Redford's grandson was among the class of 2015, the Morning Sentinel reported.
Redford, whose speech appeared on the college's website, is the founder of the Sundance Film Festival. He is known for such films as "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," ''Quiz Show," ''All The President's Men," and "The Way We Were." He received an Oscar for his directorial debut of "Ordinary People," as well as one for Lifetime Achievement.