Valedictorian Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old valedictorian quotes, valedictorian sayings, and valedictorian proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


It makes little difference how many university courses or degrees a person may own. If he cannot use words to move an idea from one point to another, his education is incomplete.     

Norman Cousins

Sometimes you find out what you are supposed to be doing by doing the things you are not supposed to do.     

Oprah Winfrey

Don't just get involved. Fight for your seat at the table. Better yet, fight for a seat at the head of the table.     

Barack Obama

As you start your journey, the first thing you should do is throw away that store-bought map and begin to draw your own.     

Michael Dell

There is nothing more beautiful than finding your course as you believe you bob aimlessly in the current. Wouldn't you know that your path was there all along, waiting for you to knock, waiting for you to become. This path does not belong to your parents, your teachers, your leaders, or your lovers. Your path is your character defining itself more and more everyday like a photograph coming into focus.     

Jodie Foster

You can't control how smart you are, how funny you are, how good-looking you are. The one thing you can control in your life is how hard you work.     

Ian Brennan

And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here.     

Neil Gaiman

For the most important decisions in your life, trust your intuition, and then work with everything you have, to prove it right.     

Tim Cook

When people tell you not to believe in your dreams, and they say "Why?", say "Why not?"     

Billie Jean King

The man who graduates today and stops learning tomorrow is uneducated the day after.     

Newton D. Baker

The aim of education is the knowledge, not of facts, but of values.     

William S. Burroughs

You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can't get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you're doing, but what you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover will be yourself.     

Alan Alda

Girls are more academically powerful. They make the grades, they run the student activities, they are the valedictorians.     

Christina Hoff

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.     

Mark Twain

Life is the most exciting opportunity we have. But we have one shot. You graduate from college once, and that's it. You're going out of that nest. And you have to find that courage that's deep, deep, deep in there. Every step of the way.     

Andrew Shue

Graduation speeches force you to reflect. They are about consciousness. Nothing is better than consciousness.     

Bruce Eric Kaplan

Just remember, you can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.     

Arnold Schwarzenegger

So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.     

Christopher Reeve

Commencement speeches were invented largely in the belief that outgoing college students should never be released into the world until they have been properly sedated.     

Garry Trudeau

Not only can you not plan the impact you're going to have, you often won't recognize it when you're having it.     

Dick Costolo

Thankfully dreams can change. If we'd all stuck with our first dream, the world would be overrun with cowboys and princesses. So whatever your dream is right now, if you don't achieve it, you haven't failed, and you're not some loser. But just as importantly—and this is the part I may not get right and you may not listen to—if you do get your dream, you are not a winner.     

Stephen Colbert

I encourage you to live with life. Be courageous, adventurous. Give us a tomorrow, more than we deserve.     

Maya Angelou

That diploma you hold in your hands today is really just your learner's permit for the rest of the drive through life. Remember, you don't have to be smarter than the next person, all you have to do is be willing to work harder than the next person.     

Jimmy Iovine

God will not look you over for medals degrees or diplomas, but for scars.     

Elbert Hubbard

For many, graduation marks the end of formal student life - the end of long spring breaks and of thinking that a 10 A.M. class is far too early.     

Alexa Von Tobel

We all go through life bristling at our external limitations, but the most difficult chains to break are inside us.     

Bradley Whitford

We're not just gathered here on a lovely May day in an ordinary auditorium at SF state. We're all strapped in, seated together on a gigantic ball whirling around the sun at 67,000 miles per hour, nested in a galaxy hurtling through the depths of space and time at 1.3 million miles per hour.     

Kirk Schneider

Graduation is a time of completion, of finishing, of an ending, however, it is also a time of celebration of achievement and a beginning for the new graduate.     

Catherine Pulsifer

No graduation speaker will ever tell you that the future is anything but uncertain. It never is. But graduations need not only be obsessed with looking ahead; a graduation can be a day on which we turn back and trace our steps to see how we ended up where we are.     

Taylor Mali

Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead.     

Nora Ephron