Inspiring words for William Woods University 2016 graduating class

William Woods Undergraduate

bachelors degree students celebrate 2016 Graduation ceremony

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the job outlook for 2016 is the best graduates will have seen in a while, with employers planning to hire 11 percent more new graduates from this year’s class than last year’s.

On May 7, William Woods Associate, Bachelor, Master and Doctorate graduates walked the stage and were honored for their years of academic success. The Undergraduate Commencement Exercises featured William Cather Hook.

Hook, a renowned artist from Santa Fe, New Mexico is said to be one of the notable influencers of the western art scene, spoke to graduates receiving their Associate and Bachelor’s degree.

He painted a picture in the Class of 2016’s minds.

“The way I see your future,” Hook explained, “Each of you is a blank canvas. That’s right, a pristine, primed canvas, ready to be painted. And your next assignment is to paint that painting. It’s exciting and frightening at the same time but keep in mind … no one starts with anything but a blank canvas.”

“Your painting is your future. Will you be an impressionist? Will you be a modernist? Possibly a photorealist. Low horizons. Big skies. High Horizons. Complex foregrounds. Bright colored. Moody colored. There are so many solutions for the blank canvas,” spoke Hook.

Watch the full speech here.

Commencement speeches throughout history have resonated with graduates — providing optimism, excitement and a little advice.

Whether you recently walked across that stage or you see your diploma on the horizon — a bachelors of communication, equestrian studies, sport management, biology, art or another — these speakers remind you that a future awaits and it is bright.

“Learn to trust yourself. That’s very vital… Just stand with yourself. Remember, in his lifetime, Van Gogh sold only two paintings. I personally sold even fewer.”

– Eric Idle, English comedian, actor, author, musician, and writer most commonly known for creating the famous “Monty Python” TV show and movie.  Spoke at Whitman College graduation in May 2013

“My favorite animal is the turtle. The reason is that in order for the turtle to move, it has to stick its neck out.”

– Ruth Westheimer, American psychologist, media personality, and author. Spoke at Trinity College on May 16, 2004

“The imitator dooms himself to hopeless mediocrity.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, lecturer and poet, known for leading the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. Spoke at Harvard University on July 15, 1838

“…so while I wish your dreams to come true I also want to tell you that your best life may be in the undreamed. So watch for the undreamed.”

– Candy Crowley, American news anchor and former chief political correspondent for CNN. Spoke at Maharishi University graduation in May 2012

“I wish that someone had said to me that it’s normal to feel lost for a little while.”

– Ira Glass, American public radio personality on NPR and the host/producer of the radio and television show, This American Life”. Spoke at Goucher College graduation on May 18, 2012

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case, you fail by default.”

– J.K Rowling, British novelist, screenwriter and film producer best known for her Harry Potter book series. Spoke at Harvard University graduation on June 5, 2008

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