At the George Washington University 2010 commencement, Michelle Obama gave an awe-inspiring address and a call to action, which I know my fellow classmates have since carried out in their lives. “Keep going. Keep giving. Keep engaging,” she told us, and her words still inspire my passions today. Graduation season often contains a cocktail of emotion: from joy to confusion to anxiety to relief. Luckily for the class of 2017, there are words—spoken and written—to help with the transition to the next stage in life and beyond. Even if you’re not graduating, this time of year—the flowers, the weather, and the sunshine—often brings welcome feelings of new beginnings after a long, dark winter. Here are 11 commencement speakers—and their cherished books—to guide you through whatever new beginning awaits you this summer.
Congratulations to the Class of 2017!