10 Quotes for Graduation Season

It’s that time of year again, graduation season. This is the time to recognize and praise those individuals in your life, young and old, that will be receiving a diploma this spring. One of the most time-honored traditions for graduation is the telling of quotes. Many quotes can concisely express joy and encouragement as students end one phase of their lives and start the next. Of the many, many quotes that you can find on the internet, here is a list of 10 that can get you started as you write those congratulatory cards or graduation speeches. Most of these quotes can be applied to high school, college and graduate school graduations, but a few may also be appropriate for younger graduates.

1. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Eleanor Roosevelt

One of my all-time favorite quotes, it captures the essence of having a dream and moving towards that dream. Most adult graduates have a dream that they are working towards, and reminding them that the dream that they hold will positively affect the future is important. This is a great quote for all ages, from grade-school to graduate school, and this a quote that you can include in a card or scrapbook as well as in graduation speeches.

2. Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is a classic quote that takes about taking the path less traveled. This quote is especially relevant for college graduates who are either entering the workplace or pursuing higher level degrees. It is a reminder to take a path that may not be the easiest or most foundational, but to pursue a path that is all their own. This quote is great for scrapbooks and congratulatory cards.

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3. “Your work is to discover your world and then with all you heart give yourself to it.” Buddha

For those people in your lives that are committed to serving others, this is a quote that reminds you of your purpose in this world. Although this quote may not apply to all graduates, this quote may be used for those individuals who may be looking into serving others through public service, medicine, law, education, etc. and can be put into congratulatory cards.

4. The horizon leans forward, offering you space to place new steps of change.” Maya Angelou

This is an inspirational quote for those graduates who seek to change the world, in their own way. It is a pleasantly written reminder that there are opportunities for you to change the world. This is a wonderful quote to place into graduation speeches at the college and graduate school level.

5. “The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.” Sarah Ban Breathnach

For those graduates in your life that are dreamers and doers, this quote sums up how to affect the future positively. This is an excellent quote for those graduates who have big dreams and who are ready to change the world. This quote could be used in a graduation speech or a congratulatory scrapbook.

6. “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

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If you haven’t notice already, many of these quotes are about changing the world, a current theme in our society. For many graduates, their futures are bound by this concept of changing the world. This quote by Tom Brokaw reminds us that our degrees are not just a symbol of our educational intellect, but a ticket to go into society and prompt change. An ideal quote for a graduation speech, particularly at the college level.

7. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela

This quote is perfect for those graduates interested in pursuing education as their career path. It can also be used to remind graduates that even though they have completed one stage of education, they can always continue to learn and grow in order to change the world. Here is a wonderful quote for a graduation speech as well as scrapbooks to graduates.

8. “Don’t let anyone steal your dream. It’s your dream, not theirs.” Dan Zadra

This is an “all-ages” quote, from preschool to graduate school. Dreams can be big or small, but everyone has them. This quote can encourage graduates to continue pursuing their dreams, and to not let others bring down their aspirations. This is a title-worthy quote for a congratulatory card or scrapbook.

9. Whether you think you can or think you can’t- you are right.” Henry Ford

One of the more famous quotes, this is not strictly an encouragement quote. It brings to light the idea that there are two sides to every situation, and realistically your path can go in two directions. One idea for this quote is to follow up with a more inspirational quote, such as #2, 4 or 5 for example, to help guide the graduate and push them towards the “can” side. This quote can be included in a college or graduate level congratulatory letter or scrapbook.

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10. “As for the future, your task is not to foresee it, but to enable it.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery

To round out this list, we have a quote that is dated several years before many of the other quotes on this list, but still has relevance for our current graduates. It is referring to the future and the need for graduates to “enable” the future and how they want their world to be. Another great quote about effecting change in our society and is ideal for those college and graduate students who may not fully know what they are going to do, but should be reminded that no matter what, they are their future. A great addition to a scrapbook!

A quote can express our pride in ways that are often too intricate for us to put into words ourselves. The important thing is to tell those graduates in your lives how proud you are of them, no matter what stage in life they may be. Good luck and congratulations to all of the 2011 graduates!


1, 4, 6, 7 http://www.inspirationalquotes4u.com/

2 http://thinkexist.com/quotation/do_not_go_where_the

3, 5, 8, 9 http://www.quotegarden.com/be-great.html

10 http://thinkexist.com/quotation/as_for_the_future-