Calvin College, Michigan
Excerpt: The president urged graduates to commit to community service: "As your generation takes its place in the world, all of you must make this decision: Will you be a spectator or a citizen?"
He also quipped: "If any of you wonder how far a mastery of the English language can take you, just look what it did for me."
Photo: President Bush addresses graduates at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., May 21, 2005.
Excerpt: The Afghan president blamed "national interests" for years of misery in his country, and urged graduates to reject that way of thinking: "After all, it is our humanity that ultimately brings us together while the pursuit of narrow interests divide us all."
Photo: Karzai addresses Boston University graduates, May 22, 2005, in Boston.
Middlebury College, Vermont
Excerpt: The former New York City mayor touched on the Sept. 11 attacks, telling graduates that the terrorist strikes would ultimately make the country stronger: "We've educated young people like you to understand that the world is complex and difficult. But if you can apply a reason, sense, a rationality to it, it's going to be a much, much better place."
Photo: Giuliani speaks during Middlebury College graduation ceremonies, in Middlebury, May 22, 2005.
Douglass College, New Jersey
Excerpt: The chimpanzee researcher began her speech to graduates of the women's arts and sciences school at Rutgers as a chimp might: "When something exciting happens, as is happening to you today, the chimpanzees don't sit quietly. They just show how excited they are. They would greet you like this," she said, mimicking an excited ape. She went on to talk about making a difference, especially in today's difficult times.
Photo: Goodall attends Douglass College commencement, in New Brunswick, N.J., May 17, 2005.
Sen. Hillary Clinton
Agnes Scott College, Georgia
Excerpt: "There has never been a time in human history where it has been better to be a young woman alive and living in America," the New York senator told graduates of the women's college. "There has never been any generation of young women with so many choices and so many opportunities to live up to their God-given potential."
Photo: Sen. Clinton, left, shakes hands with Agnes Scott board of trustees chair Harriet King as she is awarded an honorary degree, May 14, 2005, in Decatur, Ga.
Vice President Cheney
Auburn University, Alabama
Excerpt: The vice president steered away from politics, instead offering humorous anecdotes. He described his first job interview with Donald Rumsfeld, in the 1960s: "Don's impression was that I was an impractical, detached academic type and I thought he was a young brash politician - turned out we were both right."
Photo: Vice President Dick Cheney speaks at Auburn University, May 13, 2005, in Auburn, Ala. Alabama Gov. Bob Riley looks on in the background.
University of Mississippi
Excerpt: The Pulitzer Prize-winning author spoke about failure: "All of us are always failing in different ways, both large and small. In order to succeed, you almost surely must first fail. ...Succeeding is more than anything else picking yourself up on the bad days and deciding that you will not be defeated."
Photo: Halberstam delivers the University of Mississippi commencement address, May 14, 2005.
University of Maine
Excerpt: The author urged graduates to stay in Maine, and joked about being chosen to give the speech: "I'll tell myself that you felt I was worthy of this honor and this responsibility because my wife and I have tried to give back to our state and our community and not because I once wrote a story where a man stranded on a desert island stayed alive by dining on himself from the feet up."
Photo: King speaks at the University of Maine commencement in Orono, Maine, May 7, 2005.
University of Alabama
Excerpt: The actress and UA alumni told graduates: "I stand here, representing what every one of you can achieve in your own way, and I assure you that the gap between us is not as wide as you might think and truly not as formidable or difficult to bridge as you may fear...The obstacles and the potential for setbacks are there, but they are part of what will strengthen you."
Photo: University president Robert Witt, left, hugs Ward after her speech, May 7, 2005, in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Credit: AP/Tuscaloosa News
Berklee College Of Music, Boston
Excerpt: The legendary jazz bassist told graduates: "You can bring compassion through your music. By that I don't mean a concern about whether this is the right or best song for the occasion, but a concern for your fellow human beings. Show them that you care for each and every one of them, that you share in their good times and bad times, that you welcome the challenge of trying to improve a situation."
Photo: Carter waves after speaking to graduates, May 7, 2005, in Boston.