Texas native Matthew McConaughey, an Academy Award-winning actor, delivered a very inspiring and thought-provoking commencement speech to the 2015 graduating students of the University of Houston at TDECU Stadium on Friday, May 15.
Matthew McConaughey’s 2015 University of Houston Commencement Speech Transcript
Can you hear me? Can you hear me? You hear me? Okay. Congratulations class of 2015. You guys and girls, and young men and women are the reason I’m here. I’m really looking forward to talking with you all tonight. You heard my dad played football here and I believe he even graduated from here. That was some extra incentive for me to come. Short and sweet or long and salty? A sugar doughnut or some oatmeal?
Now, 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 up here at a podium and read you your rights? Did I want to come up here and just share some 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 and what I need to say. Hopefully, we’re both going to be happy on both accounts. As the saying goes, take what you like, leave the rest. Thank you for having me
So before I share with you some what I do knows, I want to talk with you about what I don’t know. I have two older brothers. One was in high school in the early 1970s. And this was a time when a high school GED got you a job, and the college degree was exemplary. My other brother, Pat, was in high school in the early 80s.
And by this time, the GED wasn’t enough to guarantee employment. He needed a college degree. And if you got one, you had a pretty good chance of getting the kind of job that you wanted after you graduated. Me, I graduated high school in 1988. Got my college degree in 1993. And that college degree in ’93 did not mean much. It was not a ticket. It was not a voucher. It was not a free pass go to anything. So I asked the question, 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.
But what is it worth? In the job market? Today?