MuggleNet Throwback: J.K. Rowling’s 2008 Harvard University commencement address
With graduation season happening in full force for college students around the world, what could be a better way to celebrate such an occasion than with a trip down memory lane to one of J.K. Rowling’s standout moments of wisdom back in 2008 when she delivered the commencement address at Harvard University? Yeah, we didn’t think much could outdo it either, which is why it’s the subject of this week’s MuggleNet Throwback!
Rowling, who does not often step out for highly publicized interviews and speeches such as this, made a very memorable and impassioned commencement address to the 2008 graduating class of Harvard University, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Graduates were treated to a delightful address from Rowling that was just over 20 minutes in length and covered topics ranging from notable quotes from inspiring historical figures, preparedness for the future, and of course, a few Harry Potter jokes along the way! But mostly, Rowling focused on what she claimed are the two key lessons she has learned in life that she would have wished to know upon leaving college, stating,
On this wonderful day when we are gathered together to celebrate your academic success, I have decided to talk to you about the benefits of failure. And as you stand on the threshold of what is sometimes called ‘real life’, I want to extol the crucial importance of imagination. These may seem quixotic or paradoxical choices, but please bear with me.
While it has only been a few short years since Rowling gave her address to a bright and hopeful Harvard class, a lot in our world has changed, but it seems that Rowling’s words remain as important and valid as ever. Whether you’re a recent graduate, about to graduate, or far from it, you can expect nothing less than wisdom beyond anyone’s years and enough hope to take down even the toughest Dementors within Rowling’s sage advice. You can read the transcript of Rowling’s speech, watch the full video recording, or check out photos from the event here.
And be sure to catch up on all the latest projects going on in Rowling’s very busy schedule in our “J.K. Rowling” section.