If I were to give a commencement speech, I should want to do something different. Generally, speakers either deliver a change-the-world pep talk or a face-the-world sermon.
My angle would address the act of graduation itself, for if well-handled, the consequences will follow naturally. It is imperative to encourage graduates to do what they are called upon to do at this time: Graduates graduate. This means they pass from one stage of experience, proficiency, or development to another, higher degree. It is a time of passage.
The Need to Graduate
This is one of the greater challenges of today’s graduates. Many are not graduating. They receive their diplomas with great pomp and ceremony but do not make that passage to the next stage of life. They stay frozen in immaturity, unwilling to make the decisions that require effort and grit.
After the graduation ceremony, they need to realize that they are no longer the high school or college students they once were. They should no longer play the same games, video or otherwise. They must assume new responsibilities. They must seriously think about their future. They should consider the state of the nation and the Church, which are in crisis.
-as culled from here