Stephen Colbert Was Asked To Give A Commencement Speech And Snuck A Life Lesson In With The Laughs

Sep 14, 2015 By John-Michael Bond
In 2013, Stephen Colbert was asked to give the keynote speech during the University of Virginia's valedictory exercises. Standing before the student body, Colbert began to speak and opened with his normal sense of irreverent humor.

"I believe that means I am this year's valedictorian, and I am as shocked as you are because I didn't make it to many classes this year," Colbert said. "You guys must've really tanked your finals. Thank you for that."

The jokes kept coming, but as his speech went on the tone began to change slightly. Addressing a recent TIME magazine piece, which called the graduating class the "me, me, me" generation, Colbert spoke of the struggles these students would face in the real world after college. His answer? For graduates to not allow others to define their reality.

"Every generation must define itself, and so make the world that suits itself. If you must find your own path, and we have left you no easy path, then decide now to choose the hard path that leads to the life and the world you want."
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