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The Art Of The Commencement Speech18:30

Students attend graduation ceremonies. (Butch Dill/AP)
Students attend graduation ceremonies. (Butch Dill/AP)
This article is more than 2 years old.

What makes a commencement speech good instead of great? We listen to some of the most renowned commencement speeches of all time, and discuss what makes them stand out.


Ted Widmer is a historian and writer. He was a speechwriter in the Clinton White House from 1997 to 2001. He also edited the Library of America's "American Speeches."

Ellen Fitzpatrick is a professor of history at the University of New Hampshire. Her newest book is "The Highest Glass Ceiling: Women's Quest for the American Presidency." She tweets at @EllenFitzp.

This segment aired on May 18, 2018.

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