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12 Celebrities Who Gave Memorable Graduation Speeches

Denzel Washington, Lisa Kudrow, Robert De Niro
Kevin Winter / Matt Winkelmeyer / Ben Gabbe, Getty Images

There’s a lot of pomp and circumstance when these stars speak.

We’re in the midst of graduation season – that time when young people see the fruits of their late night studying and single-spaced term papers end with a piece of parchment indicating they have indeed met the requirements of their school with a degree that proves they’re qualified to get a job they desperately need to pay off the loans they got to go to school.

Graduation is the perfect time for those people who’ve been out in the real world to talk to these youngsters about what to expect and offer some sage advice about how to approach the challenges that inevitably loom in the distance.

And while some would say Hollywood stars don’t know much about the “real world,” they are often tapped to deliver a commencement address. They’re crowd favorites, terrific speakers and add a memory these graduates will carry with them long after they’ve finished paying off those loans and landed that coveted first job.

Take a look at some of the huge stars who’ve delivered commencement speeches below.

Denzel Washington

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Matt Damon

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Natalie Portman

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Oprah Winfrey

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Ellen DeGeneres

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Conan O’Brien

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Robert De Niro

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Stephen Colbert

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Jim Carrey

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Meryl Streep

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Lisa Kudrow

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Charlie Day

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