Tweeter's Digest: 2012 Commencement Speeches, Condensed

Oprah Winfrey shared wisdom at Spelman College's 2012 commencementReader's Digest: Curates and condenses the best reads in America right now. Tweeter's Digest: Does it in 140 characters or less.

Here, skip the four-year degree and get wise from this year's top commencement speakers.

Oprah Winfrey

Where: Spelman College
When: May 20, 2012
What we learned: Oprah Winfrey, TV legend and CEO of Harpo Productions, told graduates to dream big and "always do the right thing."
Tweet to repeat: "You want to be in the driver's seat of your own life because if you are not, life will drive you." Retweet it »

Colin Powell
Where: Northeastern University
When: May 4, 2012
What we learned: Colin Powell, former secretary of state, encouraged graduates to become active voters and to explore new cultures, ideas and possibilities.
Tweet to repeat: "Let your dreams be your only limitation." Retweet it »

Michael Bloomberg
Where: University of North Carolina
When: May 13, 2012
What we learned: New York City's 108th mayor shared secrets to his success-and told grads how to get the upper hand in a competitive market.
Tweet to repeat: "Whether you like it or not: The computer nerds have won." Retweet it »

Katie Couric
Where: University of Virginia
When: May 20, 2012
What we learned: Alumna Katie Couric, famed news anchor, shared wisdom on coping with hardship and staying optimistic through life's challenges.
Tweet to repeat: "Life can deal you some crushing blows, and we all need a deep reserve of resilience to survive." Retweet it »

Sonia Sotomayor
Where: New York University
When: May 16, 2012
What we learned: Raised in a Bronx housing project only to become the nation's first Hispanic Supreme Court justice, Sonia Sotomayor advised graduates to keep up their spirits no matter how long the odds.
Tweet to repeat: "The key to success is continuously maintaining an ever-present curiosity." Retweet it »

Aaron Sorkin
Where: Syracuse University
When: May 13, 2012
What we learned: Aaron Sorkin, acclaimed playwright, movie and TV writer (A Few Good Men and The West Wing, for example) took a cue from some of his own stories and told grads at his alma mater that a small, dedicated group of people can make a big difference.
Tweet to repeat: "'A small group of thoughtful people can change the world. It's the only thing that ever has.'" Retweet it »

Christiane Amanpour
Where: University of Southern California
When: May 12, 2012
What we learned: The ABC News anchor encouraged graduates to find success by following their dreams-and using the skills they've developed as students.
Tweet to repeat: "Find something that sets you on fire." Retweet it »

Dr. Sanjay Gupta
Where: University of Michigan
When: April 28, 2012
What we learned: When Dr. Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent, spoke at his alma mater, he told graduates to expect the unexpected and have confidence in who they are.
Tweet to repeat: "Make sure you can write this sentence: 'I am who I always wanted to be.'" Retweet it »

Mitt Romney
Where: Liberty University
When: May 12, 2012
What we learned: Mitt Romney, Republican presidential candidate and former governor of Massachusetts, highlighted the virtues of faith and told graduates to stick to their principles.
Tweet to repeat: "What we have, what we wish we had...these things may occupy our attention, but they do not define us." Retweet it »

Barack Obama

Where: Barnard College
When: May 20, 2012
What we learned: Speaking to the female-only audience of graduates, the president told stories of the strong women who inspired him and encouraged graduates to work hard and achieve big things.
Tweet to repeat: "Fight for your seat at the table. Better yet, fight for a seat at the head of the table." Retweet it »

Michelle Obama

Where: Virginia Tech
When: May 11, 2012
What we learned: First Lady Michelle Obama stressed the importance of community, collaboration and giving back.
Tweet to repeat: "It is only through serving others that we find what's been missing in our own lives." Retweet it »

Jane Lynch
Smith College
May 20, 2012
What we learned:
Jane Lynch, the Emmy-award winning actress known for her work on Glee, told grads to enjoy life's surprises and avoid planning ahead.
Tweet to repeat:
"Don't have a plan. Plans are for wusses." Retweet it »

Sutton Foster
Ball State University
May 5, 2012
What we learned:
Two-time Tony Award-winner Sutton Foster shared advice about taking pride in one's work and the importance of looking out for others.
Tweet to repeat:
"When the opportunity arises to show people what you've got, show 'em." Retweet it »


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