Top 2011 College Commencement Speakers Videos

Its college graduation time, so Im compiling a list of my favorite 2011 college commencement videos.

Please leave a comment to let me know what great speeches Ive missed or email [email protected]

Harvard College Amy Poehler
Amy Poehler delivers a hilarious speech at Harvards College 2011 graduation.

Spelman College Michelle Obama
Our First Lady, Michelle Obama, gives an inspiring speech to the 2011 graduating class of female students at Spelman.

Miami Dade College President Obama
President Obama delivers this commencement address to the graduating students at Miami Dade College, Miami, FL. April 29, 2011.

Yale College Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks, Academy Award-winning actor, writer and director speaks to Yale Colleges Class of 2011 graduating students.

Harvey Mudd College Marissa Mayer (Googles Vice President)
Marissa Mayer, Googles first female engineer and vice president, gives her speech to graduates at Harvey Mudd College.

West Point College Michelle Obama
First Lady Michelle Obama makes her first visit to West Point as the banquet speaker for the U.S. Military Academy Class of 2011. Held in the historic Cadet Mess this is an address to over 3,000 graduating cadets, their families and guests. This marks the final social event the cadets will take part in as a class prior to commencement and commissioning. This is also the first time a First Lady has spoken for the Cadets at West Point.

And here are some upcoming graduation speeches Ill be adding next . . .

Dartmouth College Conan OBrien
Eric Tanner 11, Dartmouth Student Body President, announces the Commencement speaker for 2011. Watch the live broadcast of the ceremony on June 12, 2011, beginning at 9:30 am EDT on dartmouth.edu.

How to Write a Killer College Application Essay

I know a lot of students struggle when writing their college application essay.

Here is some advice from actual college admissions officers on what they look for in a quality college essay:

Be Original
The essays we dislike the most are those that seemingly could have been written by 2,000 or 3,000 other applicants. Were looking for distinctiveness. Think of us hoping that the application will at least figuratively come alive in front of us, so when were struggling to read applications at 10:30 p.m. on any given night, seven nights a week during the reading perio, were looking for personality. Were looking to grasp hold of an individual.

Tell An Interesting Story
A students writing style can sometimes tell us as much about the student as the actual story itself. I like reading something interesting that happened to students. The essays that I dread reading are, of course, the ones that start out about My trip to Europe or something like that. If they do have a story to tell and it is something about their trip to Europe, Id rather hear something about a specific incident that happened rather than a travelogue and summation that says, Now I have a greater understanding of culture.

Be Creative
I dont think everybody has to have some major event that they have to write about in their lives. I think the student has to use some creative juices to come up with an interesting way of talking about the family dog or a relationship with a sick aunt. Those are the kinds we like to read, those that arent the typical 300 words Pikes Peak out-the-rear-window-of -a -car-essay.

Be Concise and Clear
I like to see things that are written concisely and clearly. I dread the long, long, long essay that brings in every unimportant detail about what theyre trying to get across. I really like it when people can express themselves in a brief manner and also be effective at the same time.

Write Straight from the Heart
We want essays that come straight from the heart. Thats the point of the essay. Why do you want me? Why do you want me as a student on your campus? What are you going to contribute? I dont mean by being president of the senior class or being an All-American. There are lots of ways that students can contribute. They need to have a sense of themselves in order to present that in written form.

Show Your Personality
The essay should not be simply a regurgitation of information thats already in a students resume. I like to see students walk out on thin ice and use humor if its natural for them. They shouldnt put on some kind of corporate vocabulary simply to try to impress the committee. Were more interested in personal style and the substance of the writing than how they can impress us with their vocabulary and their sentence structure.

Dont Try to Be Funny if Youre Not
Many people bomb when they try to be humorous because peoples senses of humor dont always match. Someone may think something is funny, and it may be derogatory to someone else.

Please comment with some personal advice on writing college application essays