Steve Carell <br> Princeton University
Excerpt: "Show up on time, because to be late is to show disrespect. Remember the words regime and regiment are not interchangeable. Get a dog because cats are lame. And every once in awhile, put something positive into the world. We've become so cynical these days and by 'we,' I mean us. So do something kind, make somebody laugh and don't take yourself too seriously."
Photo: Actor Steve Carell addresses the class of 2012 at Princeton University during Class Day ceremonies in Princeton, N.J., June 4, 2012.
Credit: AP Photo/Mel Evans
Robert De Niro<br>Bates College
Excerpt: "If you're an actor, always be true to your character. If you're not an actor, have character and always be true to yourself."
Photo: Actor Robert De Niro delivers his commencement speech at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, on May 27, 2012.
Credit: AP Photo/The Lewiston Sun-Journal, Russ Dillingham
Vice President Joe Biden <br> USMA, West Point
Excerpt: "Every single generation that's preceded you at West Point has faced daunting challenges upon receiving their commission, especially in times of war. But your generation, the 9/11 generation, is more than worthy of the proud legacy you'll inherit today."
Photo: Vice President Joe Biden, right, is saluted by Bradley Addison Potts before handing him a diploma after Biden addressed graduates of The United States Military Academy at West Point on May 26, 2012, in West Point, New York.
Credit: Lee Celano/Getty Images
Timothy Geithner <br> Johns Hopkins University
Excerpt: "You chose the harder path in graduate school. You chose to learn about power and conflict among nations; about incentives and human behavior; about why nations fail and prosper; about hubris and achievement. This is the study of how to think and how to choose and how to lead. You chose a place where you could learn the craft of how to advance a cause, a cause larger than yourself."
Photo: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner delivers the commencement address to the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, on May 24, 2012, in Washington, D.C. Secreatry Geithner is a 1985 SAIS graduate.
Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Christine Lagarde <br> Harvard University
Photo: IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde addresses graduates during commencement celebrations at Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Mass., May 23, 2012.
Credit: EMMANUEL DUNAND
President Barack Obama <br> U.S. Air Force Academy
Excerpt: "For a decade, we have labored under the dark cloud of war. Now, we can see the light of a new day on the horizon. The end of these wars will shape your service, and it will make our military stronger.''
President Barack Obama, right, greets graduates of U.S. Air Force class 2012 during their graduation ceremony at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., on May 23, 2012.
Credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
President Barack Obama <br> Joplin High School
Excerpt: "You're from Joplin . So you will remember, you will know, just how many people there are who see life differently. You're from Joplin . So you'll always know that it's always possible for a community to come together when it matters most. Yes, you will encounter obstacles along the way, but you're from Joplin . And you're from America. and no matter how tough times get, you'll always be tougher."
Photo: President Barack Obama delivers the commencement address at Joplin High School on May 21, 2012, in Joplin, Mo.
Credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
Oprah Winfrey<br>Spelman College
Excerpt: "You must have some kind of vision for your life, even if you don't have a plan. Do the right thing, even when other people think it may not be."
Photo: Oprah Winfrey attends the Spelman College Commencement at Georgia International Convention Center on May 20, 2012, in College Park Ga.
Credit: Rick Diamond/Getty Images
Brian Williams<br>George Washington University
Excerpt: "You don't actually have to build a rocket or go into space, but please take us somewhere. Please keep us moving. Push us, lift us up. Make us better. Remember this, as I leave you, again as of today, you've achieved what I could not."
Photo: Brian Williams speaks after he received a Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters during the 2012 George Washington University Commencement at National Mall on May 20, 2012, in Washington.
Credit: Kris Connor/Getty Images
Katie Couric<br>University of Virginia
Excerpt: "Life can deal you some crushing blows, and we all need a deep reserve of resilience to survive. Losing someone is also a reminder that life is short, and fragile. We are all terminal. And that's why we have to be grateful for the time we have and savor the joy that comes our way."
Journalist and author Katie Couric speaks at the University of Virginia commencement exercises May 20, 2012, in Charlottesville, Va.
Credit: AP Photo/The Daily Progress,Sabrina Schaeffer
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayer<br>NYU
Excerpt: "Every time I cross a bridge or tunnel to return to New York ... my heart sighs with joy. I love this city. The city, it challenges you to do big things, to accomplish as much as you can."
Photo: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayer leaves following the New York University 180th commencement ceremony at Yankee Stadium on May 16, 2012, in New York.
Credit: AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews
Robert Gates<br>The University of Texas at Austin
Excerpt: "To serve the public you don't need to deploy to a war zone or move to a developing country or bury yourself in a cubicle by the Potomac River. You don't have to be a CIA operative tracking the world's most notorious terrorists. Nor must you lead a team of warriors bringing him to a just and violent end, like Admiral Bill McCraven, U.T. Distinguished Alumnus from the class of '77. Everywhere there are children to be taught, veterans to be healed, roads to build, and communities to strengthen, especially in these challenging times. In building a good business and staying involved in your community, you also render public service in multiple ways."
Photo: Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates delivers the commencement address at The University of Texas at Austin on May 19. 2012, in Austin, Texas.
Credit: AP Photo/ The University of Texas at Austin, Marsha Miller
Eric Schmidt<br>Boston University
Excerpt: "People bemoan this generation that is growing up living life in front of screens, always connected to something or someone. These people are wrong. They're absolutely wrong. The fact that we're all connected now is a blessing, not a curse, and we can solve many, many problems in the world as a result."
Photo: Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, delivers Boston University's commencement address during graduation ceremonies on the schools campus in Boston, May 20, 2012.
Credit: AP Photo/Steven Senne
Aaron Sorkin<br>Syracuse University
Excerpt: "Don't ever forget that a small group of thoughtful people can change the world. It's the only thing that ever has. Rehearsal's over. You're going out there now, you're going to do this thing. How you live matters. You're going to fall down, but the world doesn't care how many times you fall down, as long as it's one fewer than the number of times you get back up."
Photo: Aaron Sorkin, screenwriter, producer and playwright, points as he looks to the crowd during his address at the 2012 Syracuse University Commencement on May 13, 2012, at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York.
Credit: Nate Shron/Getty Images
Michelle Obama<br>North Carolina A&T
Excerpt: "The first question I asked myself was, 'Who do I want to be?' Not what do I want to be, but who. And it's so easy to think about your future as a series of lines on a resume...But I also want to stress that your job title and responsibilities, those things are merely what you do, and they will always be. They are not who you are."
Photo: First Lady Michelle Obama receives cheers after receiving a Doctorate in Humanities at the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NCA&T) Commencement on May 12, 2012, in Greensboro, N.C.
Credit: Sara D. Davis/Getty Images
Mitt Romney<br>Liberty University
Excerpt: "Moral certainty, clear standards, and a commitment to spiritual ideals will set you apart in a world that searches for meaning."
Photo: Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney delivers the keynote address at Liberty University's 39th Annual Commencement in Lynchburg, Va., on May 12, 2012.
Credit: JIM WATSON/AFP/GettyImages
President Barack Obama<br>Barnard College
Excerpt: "You are now poised to make this the century when women shape not only their own destiny, but the destiny of the whole nation. It's up to you to stand up and be heard, to write, to lobby, to march, to organize, to vote."
Photo: President Barack Obama delivers the commencement address at Barnard College on May 14, 2012, in New York.
Credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg<br>UNC-Chapel Hill
Excerpt: "More than any other generation that has walked the Earth, you are free to pursue your dreams unbounded by limits placed on your race, gender, ethnicity, orientation, or lineage. I have no doubt that in your lifetime, liberty's light will allow us to see more clearly the truth of our nation's founding principles, and allow us to see all people, and all couples, as full and equal members of the American family."
Photo: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at UNC-Chapel Hill's commencement in Chapel Hill, N.C., on May 13, 2012.
Credit: Takaaki Iwabu,AP Photo/The News & Observer
Michelle Obama<br>Virginia Tech
Excerpt: "I know... I'm supposed to offer you all kinds of wisdom and advice and life lessons. But the truth is, like so many people across this country and around the world, I have been following the journey of this school. I have witnessed the strength and spirit of the Hokie Nation, and I think that you all already learned plenty of lessons here at Virginia Tech."
Photo: First Lady Michelle Obama delivers a keynote address during commencement exercises at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., May 11, 2012.
Credit: AP Photo/Steve Helber
Sutton L. Foster<br>Ball State University
Excerpt: "You have to have the courage to go with your gut. And no job should be too small for you. Make an impression, and when an opportunity comes when you can show 'em what you got, show 'em."
Photo: Sutton L. Foster, two-time Tony award winner, jokes with university board members as she waits to receive her honorary degree before giving the commencement address, May 5, 2012, in Muncie, Ind.
Credit: AP Photo/The Star Press, Kurt Hostetler
Cokie Roberts<br>University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Excerpt: "You have to lead the way, not only in the field that you might have chosen, but also, I'd like you think about public service, including elective office, because we need your help to fix it."
Photo: Cokie Roberts, political commentator for ABC news and senior news analyst for NPR news, gives the commencement address during University of Illinois ceremonies at Assembly Hall in Champaign, Ill., on May 13, 2012.
Credit: AP Photo/The News-Gazette, Darrell Hoemann
Ruth Simmons<br>University of Oklahoma
Excerpt: "I ask you today, graduates, that as you look ahead to a long life, which I hope will be bountiful and satisfying, you commit some part of your aspirations and goals to this ideal of this broader and inclusive beloved community."
Photo: Brown University President Ruth Simmons applauds students before giving the commencement address at the University of Oklahoma's spring commencement on May 11, 2012, in Norman, Okla.
Credit: AP Photo/The Oklahoman, Steve Sisney
Verne Lundquist<br>Hampden-Syndey College
Photo: CBS Sports broadcaster Verne Lundquist speaks during commencement at Hampden-Syndey College on May 13, 2012 in Hampden Sydney, Va.
Credit: AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Eva Russo