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What Rainn Wilson, Eric Garcetti and Tina Knowles Lawson (Beyoncé’s mom) had to say to graduating Trojans

Best of baccalaureates: The annual nondenominational service is one of many USC traditions on hold for now, so here’s a look back at some of the unforgettable speeches from recent years.

The nondenominational baccalaureate service on the eve of commencement is a highlight of USC’s commencement ceremonies. With the Class of 2020’s official ceremonies postponed to an as-yet-unannounced date, here’s a look at some recent baccalaureate speakers who brought laughter, inspiration and motivation — and maybe a few tears — to recent graduating classes.


Rainn Wilson, 2014: ‘Happiness is so fleeting — it’s like cotton candy’

“It looks amazing, delightful, fluffy and pink. You joyously eat it and almost immediately regret your decision. Your fingers are sticky, you’re undergoing an insulin crash from the half-pound of sugar you just sucked down and you’re hungry again almost immediately.” So said Rainn Wilson, the actor best known for his role as the scheming, maniacal paper rep Dwight Schrute on NBC’s long-running hit The Office.


Tina Knowles Lawson, 2018: ‘Your world is only as big as you can see’

Inspirational philanthropist and fashion designer Tina Knowles Lawson discussed her reluctance to serve as the baccalaureate speaker, the importance of mentoring in her life and how it affected her role as Beyoncé’s and Solange’s mom.


Eric Garcetti: ‘How, and where, do we belong?’

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti discussed the unlikely connection between politics and spirituality, and what lies ahead for the Class of 2019.

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