May 18, 2015 @ 5:30 pm
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The following is an excerpt from a post that originally appeared on Time. To read the full article, visit

Short and sweet or long and salty? A sugar donut or some oatmeal? Out of respect for you and your efforts in getting your degree, I thought long and hard about what I could share with you tonight. Did I want to stand at a podium and read you your rights? Did I want to come up here and just share some really funny stories? I thought about what you would WANT. I thought about what you might NEED. I also thought about what I WANT to say. What I NEED to say...Hopefully, we'll both be happy on both accounts… And as the saying goes, take what you like, leave the rest. Thank you for having me.

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So, before I share with you some "what I do knows," let's talk about a "what I don't know."

I have 2 older brothers.

One was in high school in the early 1970s — a time when a high school GED got you a job and college degree was exemplary.

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My other brother was in HS in the early 1980s, and by this time the GED wasn't enough to guarantee employment, you needed a college degree, and if you got one, you had a pretty good chance of getting the kind of job you wanted after you graduated.

Me, I graduated HS in 1988, got my college degree in '93. That college degree? Didn't mean as much. No ticket, no voucher, no free pass go to anything.

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So, what does your college degree mean?

It means you got an education, means you have more knowledge in a specific subject, vocation, means you may have more expertise in "what your degree" is in.

READ MORE: To see the full speech, visit