Also see Coming of Age, Class Reunions, Higher Education, Knowledge and Learning, and this tribute to my graduating class GHS Class of 65.
- Cap and Gown
- Class of ....
- Congratulations, Graduate!
- Glad to Be a Grad
- Goodbye Dorm!
- Goodbye High School!
- Goodbye School!
- Grad Night
- Graduation Dance
- Graduation Day
- Graduation's Here
- The Graduate
- Hard Work Pays Off
- Hats Off
- Hats Off to You
- Hello World
- Let Your Light Shine
- Looks Like We've Made It
- Make the Most of Yourself
- May All Your Dreams Come True
- Neglect Not the Gift That is in Thee
- Next Step: College
- Next Step: Real Life
- No More Books
- Now Willing to Consider C.E.O. Position
- Present Graduate...Future Millionaire!
- Reach for the Stars
- Ready to Take on the World
- Red Letter Day
- School's Out!
- So Long Professor
- So Long Teacher
- The Tassel is Worth the Hassle
- These are the Best of Times
- This Day We Have Worked For
- This is the Day I've Been Waiting For
- This is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life
- Way to Go!
- We Made It
- Well, Ain't You Somethin'?!?!
- We've Only Just Begun
- Whatever Happened to the Class of ....?
- You Did it With Flying Colors
- You Made It
- A BMW can't take you as far as a diploma. (Joyce A. Myers)
- Always believe that you will ultimately succeed at whatever you do, and never forget the value of persistence, discipline, and determination.
- Commencement speeches were invented largely in the belief that outgoing college students should never be released into the world until they have been properly sedated. (Garry Trudeau)
- Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
- Don't live down to expectations. Go out there and do something remarkable. (Wendy Wasserstein)
- The fireworks begin today. Each diploma is a lighted match. Each one of you is a fuse. (Ed Koch)
- From a Commencement Address:
"There are many of you who never thought you'd make it this far...especially those of you who can't read and write."
- A graduation ceremony is an event where the commencement speaker tells thousands of students dressed in identical caps and gowns that 'individuality' is the key to success. (Robert Orben)
- If people offer their help or wisdom as you go through life, accept it gratefully. You can learn much from those who have gone before you. But never be afraid or hesitant to step off the accepted path and head off in your own direction, if your heart tells you that it's the right way for you.
- The journey between what you once were and who you are now becoming is where the dance of life really takes place. (Barbara DeAngelis)
- Just about a month from now I'm set adrift, with a diploma for a sail and lots of nerve for oars. (Richard Halliburton)
- One of the first things a college grad discovers is that jobs are handed out by people who think and act a lot like his parents.
- Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul.
Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.
- School's out, memories past, don't ever doubt, our friendship will last.
- There is a good reason they call these ceremonies "commencement exercises." Graduation is not the end; it's the beginning. (Orrin Hatch)
- Throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. (Mark Twain)
- The uncertainties of the present always give way to the enchanted possibilities of the future. You are destined for greatness. Enjoy your journey and remember to have fun.
- What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
- Wherever you go, go with all your heart. (Confucius)
- You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world. (Tom Brokaw)
- You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. In twenty years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.
Words to a Graduate
Dare to dream, dare to try,
dare to follow your heart.
Opportunity is calling
and graduation's the time to start.
As you seek new challenges
and make your dreams come true,
may this graduation day be a reminder
of all that you can do.
As You Graduate
Cherish your memories,
but look forward . . .
Treasure your friendships
but reach outward . . .
Learn from the past
but move onward . . .
Live each day with hope
and climb upward . . .
Until now your goal has been
to be like everyone else.
The same kind of clothes and shoes and hair
You might've lost touch with yourself.
Suddenly . . . these superficial things
Aren't as important as they seemed to be.
Now is the time to examine your soul . . .
Do you like the person you see?
Will you walk through this world with selfish desires?
Will your greatest concerns be your own?
Will you love your brother and care for him too?
Or will you make your journey alone?
You know you'll get but just one chance
Your earthly like to live.
So learn first to make "self" last
and learn well how to give.
For success is measured
not by treasures you might find
But by the good you do for others
and the love you leave behind.
I do not know beneath what sky
Nor on what seas shall be thy fate;
I only know it shall be high,
I only know it shall be great.
Watch Your Step
The future lies before you
Like a field of driven snow,
Be careful how you tread it,
For every step will show.
(Laura Rollins Lee)
Faces of old and faces of new,
People we know and people we knew.
Growing together then drifting apart,
Always an ending and now a new start.
At graduation we all grow nearer
And all our friends seem so much dearer.
And as we say our final goodbye,
One last embrace and one more cry,
A "keep in touch" and a "promise I will"
A "remember when" but better still,
A place in my heart, you'll always stay,
That is what's said as we go our own way.
Advice to a Graduate
To live a successful life
Does not require
Money, fame, power, prestige
Or status symbols . . .
It's more a matter of
Being true to your beliefs and principles,
Doing your best,
Even in the smallest of things,
And never taking for granted
The simple joys in life--
Such as laughter, a perfect day,
Or a loyal friend.
For all the money in the world
Can't buy self-esteem, character,
Contentment, love or happiness--
And these are the very things
That make life
However you define
Happiness and success,
May you find and enjoy them
Every day of your life.
for this is a special day.
One that belongs to you . . .
a day for thinking back
on all that's led up to the day,
and for looking ahead
to all the good times
yet to come . . .
And somewhere between
old memories and new hopes
lies a special moment--
a moment for being glad
that you are you,
and that there's no one else
quite like you . . .
After all, you're the reason
today is a special day,
so celebrate yourself!
Poem for a Graduating Daughter
Young woman, my daughter,
my joy and my heart,
You've reached the end
only to find a new start.
The world sees the young woman
with her charm and her smile,
but behind the woman,
I will always see the child.
School Day Memories
As we reach our hand
the diplomas we grasp,
While we think of the memories
Of the years in the past.
Tears fill our eyes
Because it's all gone.
We're starting a new life,
We have to move on.
We hope friends will keep in touch
As the years pass us by,
Although it hurts inside
We'll try not to cry.
We think of Kindergarten
And our first day.
Now we've reached the end
We are going away.
How do you say good-bye?
To friends who mean so much?
Will there be time
To sincerely keep in touch?
You'll always have the memories
Of your school years from day one.
Don't think of school as ending--
Think a new life has begun . . .
(from "The Muppets Take Manhattan")
Saying goodbye, going away
Seems like goodbye's such a hard thing to say
Touching our hands, wondering why
It's time for saying goodbye.
Saying goodbye, why is it sad?
Makes us remember the good times we've had
Much more to say, foolish to try
It's time for saying goodbye.
Don't want to leave, but we both know
Sometimes its better to go
Somehow I know, we'll meet again
Not sure quite where and I don't know just when
You're in my heart, so until then
It's time for saying goodbye.
That's a Good Question
The graduate with a Science degree asks, "Why does it work?"
The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, "How does it work?"
The graduate with an Economics degree asks, "How much will it cost?"
The graduate with a Liberal Arts degree asks, "Would you like fries with that?"
Graduation Page and Album Ideas
- Use the theme from the Dr. Seuss book Oh, The Places You'll Go! and have pictures of the graduate's life through graduation. On the last page use a picture of the graduate walking away from graduation by him/herself in cap and gown.
- For the last page of a graduation album:
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose.
(Dr. Seuss from Oh, the Places You'll Go!)
- Graduation page (using a black page)...mat cap and gown photo (5x7) on white paper, used deckle cutter to trim the edges, Gold letters and numbers for School and Year, gold pen to journal...classy looking.
- As a gift make a sentiments album with a few photos from all the years in school and several from the high school years.
- Graduation Cook Book. This is a fun gift for a graduate. Send a request to families and friends of the graduate, asking them to send a photo of the graduate with them or just them.
Also ask them to send a favorite family recipe--possibly one that the graduate has enjoyed. You will get a better response if you provide a return envelope.
Place the photo on one page of a two-page spread and the recipe on the other. Then decorate.
You could also request a funny story or memory about the graduate--especially one pertaining to food.
- Graduation Album Title Page:
"For Andrea--They say you should give a child roots and wings.
Here are your roots.
Be proud that a tiny bit of each of these people
has gone into making you the young woman you are today,
and the woman you will become.
Now spread your wings and soar.
All my love on your special day.
- Cut the graduation year out of your school colors. Layer the colors shadow style.
Graduation ABC Album
Deb Egger is making an ABC album for her son for graduation based on the poem below. She is using an 8 1/2 x 11 album in his school color. Each page will have a special picture (favorites of him through the years) along with journaling of her thoughts, dreams, and wishes for him pertaining to the line of the poem. The album will include lined pages with messages written by friends and family, a copy of the song I Hope You Dance and other poems and quotes.
Ask for what you want
Believe in yourself
Change your mind
Do what you love
Enjoy each and every day
Follow your heart's desire
Give more than you receive
Have a sense of humor
Insist on being yourself
Join in more
Kiss and make up
Love and be loved
Make new friends
Nurture your spirit
Reach for the stars
Speak your truth
Take personal responsibility
Understand more, judge less
Volunteer your time
Walk through fear
X-perience the moment
Yearn for grace
Photos to Take of Graduation
(from the May/June 2000 issue of Memory Maker Magazine)
- Photos of graduate with family/out-of-town guests/parents/pet
- Group shot with the graduate's best friends
- Graduate in front of the school building or sign
- Putting on cap and gown/pinning on corsage
- Graduate holding diploma
- Grad with special teachers/professors
- Panoramic shot of the crowd
- The cap-throwing tradition
- Detail shot of diploma, tassel, scholarship certificates and cards
- Graduate with decorations and cake at the party afterward
- Candid shots of party guests
- Life is not fair. Get used to it.
- If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure.
- Life is not divided into semesters, and you won't get summers off.
- Very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.
- Your school may have done away with winners and losers but life has not.
- Some schools have abolished failing grades; they give you as many times as needed to get the right answer. This, of course, doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.
- Sorry, but you won't make $40,000 a year right out of high school.
- And you won't be a vice president with a car phone until you earn both.
- Flipping burgers is NOT beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping; they called it opportunity.
- If you mess up it's not your parent's fault. Don't whine about your mistakes. Learn from them.
- The real world won't care about your self-esteem. It'll expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
- Before you were born your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning up your room and listening to you tell them how idealistic you are.
- Smoking and chewing does not make you look cool. It makes you look moronic.
- You are not immortal.
- Always say "Thank You," even if you don't mean it.
- You may be an idiot, but try not to be stupid.
- Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
- Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.
- People not to talk back to: 1) Your teacher; 2) 1st Sergeants; 3) The police; 4) Your mama.
- Bein' an idiot is not a box of chocolates!
Graduation (Friends Forever)
And so we talked all night about the rest of our lives
Where we're gonna be when we turn twenty-five.
I keep thinking times will never change
Keep on thinking things will always be the same.
But when we leave this year we won't be coming back
No more hanging out cause we're on a different track.
And if you got something that you need to say
You better say it right now cause you don't have another day.
Cause we're moving on and we can't slow down
These memories are playing like a film without sound.
And I keep thinking of that night in June.
I didn't know much of love
But it came too soon
And there was me and you
And we got so blue.
Stay at home talking on the telephone
We'd get so excited, we'd get so scared
Laughing at ourselves thinking life's not fair.
And this is how it feels.
As we go on
All the times we
And as our lives change
We will still be
So if we get the big jobs
And we make the big money
When we look back now
Will our jokes still be funny?
Will we still remember everything we learned in school?
Still be trying to break every single rule.
Will little brainy Bobby be the stockbroker man?
Can Heather find a job that won't interfere with her tan?
I keep, I keep thinking that it's not goodbye
Keep on thinking it's a time to fly
And this is how it feels.
Will we think about tomorrow like we think about now?
Can we survive it out there?
Can we make it somehow?
I guess I thought that this would never end
And suddenly it's like we're women and men.
Will the past be a shadow that will follow us 'round?
Will these memories fade when I leave this town?
I keep, I keep thinking that it's not goodbye
Keep on thinking it's a time to fly.
(I used the above song as background music for a Power Point presentation of photos from my 40th class reunion.)
Here is a great website about the History of Graduation.
Songs about Graduation
- After Graduation - Wilbert Harrison (1962)
- Cap and Gown - Marty Robbins (1959)
- Class of '49 - Red Sovine (1966)
- Class of '57 - The Statler Brothers (1972)
- Class of '58 - Al Stewart (2005)
- Class of '59 - Bob Luman (1959)
- Class of '65 - Billy Joe Royal (2001)
- Goodbye High School, Hello Vietnam - Tommy Dee (1966)
- Graduation Dance - The Lennon Sisters (1958)
- Graduation (Friends Forever) - Vitamin C (2000)
- Graduation Day - The Four Freshmen (1956)
- Graduation Night (As You Pass Me By) - Johnnie Allan (1975)
- Graduation Time - Barry Mann (1963)
- Graduation Tune - Ronee Blakley (1972)
- Graduation's Here - The Fleetwoods (1959)
- He's Graduating - Buddy Cole Orchestra (1957)
- Pomp and Circumstance (The Graduation Song) - A. Kimberly (1961)