Will Ferrell was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Southern California this weekend. While he was there to receive it, the comedian gave a hilarious and inspiring commencement speech to the university’s class of 2017.
There was lots of gags and funny one-liners, but the highlight of the speech was undoubtedly the comedian’s rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”
Before belting out the famous song, Ferrell told the class: “If you do have a moment where you feel a little down just think of the support you have from this great Trojan family and imagine me, literally picture my face, singing this song gently into your ear.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, this isn’t the first time Ferrel has given a graduation speech with a musical component. In 2003, he opened his Harvard commencement speech with a little dance to Kool & The Gang’s “Celebration.”
Of course, Ferrell also touched on more serious matters in his speech. An USC alum himself, Ferrell assured the class that it’s okay to not have a solid post-grad plan. “For many of you who maybe don’t have it all figured out, it’s okay. That’s the same chair that I sat in,” he said. “Enjoy the process of your search without succumbing to the pressure of the result.”
He then urged the students to look beyond typical markers of success. “Now one may look at me as having great success, which I have in the strictest sense of the word,” he said. “And don’t get me wrong I love what I do and I feel so fortunate to get to entertain people.”
He continues: “But to me my definition of success is my 16-and-a-half year marriage to my beautiful and talented wife, Vivica. Success are my three amazing sons … success to me is my involvement in the charity, Cancer For College … no matter how cliche it may sound you may never truly be successful until you learn to give beyond yourself.” Watch the full speech above.
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