Brad Barket/Getty Images
Brad Barket/Getty Images
Lena Dunham is a graduate.
The Girls star was part of the Barnard College Commencement in New York City yesterday, where she received a Barnard Medal of Distinction—and also a second chance at having a pleasant graduation ceremony.
"I'm a guest at Barnard College graduation today. At my own graduation I sobbed, hit my mother & fell asleep so pretty psyched for a redo," she tweeted.
While Dunham was part of the graduating class, some celebs were invited to be commencement speakers at various colleges.
Kerry Washington took the podium at her alma mater, George Washington University, and offered laughs with her Georgetown rivalry jokes, some interesting facts when she mentioned that she is Colin Powell's cousin and, of course, bits of wisdom and motivation for the new graduates.
"You and you alone are the only person who can live the life that can write the story that you were meant to tell," she told the crowd.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama was in Atlanta at the all-male Morehouse College Sunday, where he gave a lengthy speech that sounded like it was given by, well, the president.
"I know some of you came to Morehouse from communities where life was about keeping your head down and looking out for yourself. Maybe you feel like you escaped, and you can take your degree, get a fancy job and never look back. And don't get me wrong—with the heavy weight of student loans, with doors open to you that your parents and grandparents could scarcely imagine, no one expects you to take a vow of poverty. But I will say it betrays a poverty of ambition if all you think about is what goods you can buy instead of what good you can do.
"So yes, go get that law degree. But ask yourself if the only option is to defend the rich and powerful, or if you can also find time to defend the powerless. Yes, go get your MBA, or start that business. But ask yourself what broader purpose your business might serve, in putting people to work, or transforming a neighborhood. The most successful CEOs I know didn't start out intent on making money—rather, they had a vision of how their product or service would change things, and the money followed."
Michelle Obama also offered some encouraging words to those from Bowie State University on Friday, telling graduates to never lose their hunger for knowledge and to become an example for the next generation.
"Instead of walking miles every day to school, they're sitting on couches for hours playing video games, watching TV. Instead of dreaming of being a teacher or a lawyer or a business leader, they're fantasizing about being a baller or a rapper," she said.
"Please reject the slander that says a black child with a book is trying to act white," Obama said. "In short, be an example of excellence for the next generation."
But it was the University of Virginia who got a comedy show when Stephen Colbert took the stage.
"Tweeting your Vines, hashtagging your Spotifies, and snapchatting your YOLOs. Your generation needs everything to be about you and that's very upsetting to us Baby Boomers because self-absorption is kind of our thing," he quipped.
But Colbert did get a little inspirational near the end. Well, kinda. "I believe we have given you a gift, a particular form of independence, because you do not owe the previous generation anything. Thanks to us, you owe it to the Chinese."