Speech in the Spotlight

Madeleine Albright

Madeleine Albright addresses the graduates. Photo by Carl Socolow '77.

Madeleine Albright’s May 18 Commencement address has landed on numerous “best of” lists. Here’s a roundup:

The Washington Post: "The best graduation wisdom of 2014"

"Madeleine Albright, former secretary of state, at Dickinson College on May 18:

'But Siri cannot tell you how to build a democracy. You cannot tweet your way to good governance. There is no app for inclusive economic growth. Humanity’s progress depends on human leadership… and our leaders’ job is harder than ever. What I’m saying, dear graduates, is that the world is a mess. I’m sorry, but it’s true. And now, it falls to your generation to solve the problems my generation is leaving behind.' " Read more.

The Huffington Post: "13 Bits Of Wisdom From Women At Commencement 2014"

"Madeleine Albright: Shine bright like a diamond.

'I hope that you will go forward with confidence, despite the burdens handed down to you by others; that you will employ your talents to keep pace with technology—while remembering that there is no technological answer to the questions that matter most; that you will take pride in who you are, but leave room for the pride of others; and that by your actions, you will each add luster to Dickinson’s name—and to your own.' " Read more.

The Guardian: "U.S. graduation season 2014: the best commencement speeches"

"Madeline Albright, first woman to become secretary of state, at Dickinson College

Why watch it: The first woman to become secretary of state talks about how she was booed while defending millennials, and gives graduates an earnest bit of advice.” Read more

The National: "In pictures: Celeb commencement speakers share words of wisdom"

“Inspiration: Albright quoted Sir Isaac Newton—‘for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction—in relation to global 'mega-trends' reshaping the world.

Words of wisdom: ‘Siri cannot tell you how to build a democracy. You cannot tweet your way to good governance. There is no app for inclusive economic growth. Humanity’s progress depends on human leadership, and our leaders’ job is harder than ever. What I’m saying, dear graduates, is that the world’s a mess, I’m sorry, but it’s true. We left it for you that way. But now it falls to your generation to solve the problems that my generation is leaving behind ... and I believe that you are not only capable of doing so, but also that no prior generation has been as well-equipped to deal with those problems as your own.’ ” Read more.

Glamour: "14 Pieces of Genius Advice to Steal from Graduation Speeches (Even if You Graduated Eons Ago, These Inspire Way, Way After College)"

“ … an elegant Madeleine Albright, who told Dickinson College seniors that she graduated 'somewhere between the invention of the iPhone and the discovery of fire,' voiced her outlook on the changing times and rapid speed of today's world, in an outfit that she admittedly loved. 'Go forward with confidence, despite the burdens handed down to you by others; that you will employ your talents to keep pace with technology—while remembering that there is no technological answer to the questions that matters most.' " Read more.

Watch Albright's Speech 

More Commencement coverage 

Natural Resources Defense Council Staff Blog: "Cleaning up a Global Mess: Hope from the 'Commitments Commencement' at Dickinson College"

" … while we often look only to Presidents and Prime Ministers when we think of dealing with big issues, just as important are these pledges made by the Dickinson grads — and by millions of other young people —  to seek to improve social and environmental conditions where they work and live. Lasting change occurs at the local level, and it starts with ‘islands of sustainability’ like Dickinson College and hundreds of other colleges and universities around the world." Read more

The Sentinel (Carlisle, Pa.): "Dickinson College graduates prep for the future"

"For some parents, the mood was a bit anxious as they waited for the ceremony to begin. Frank and Linda Spinella traveled from New Hampshire to see their son Adam receive a degree in political science. ‘He will be teaching at Culver Academies in Indiana,’ said the proud mom, as she stood waiting, tissue at the ready." Read more.

Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa.): "Madeleine Albright says Dickinson College graduates have skills to tackle world’s problems"

“The world may be a mess, but former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright believes Dickinson College's graduating class has the tools to fix the broken systems and institutions of prior generations.” Read more.

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Published May. 30, 2014