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Advice for the Class of 2022: Gratitude, integrity are key to life’s success (with video)


If you missed it over Mother’s Day, thousands of North Carolina college students donned their caps and gowns and celebrated graduation over the the weekend.

At UNC-Chapel Hill, New York Times columnist and journalism professor Frank Bruni reflected on his loss of vision and the loss that students experienced as they made their way through the pandemic.

“Many of you felt cheated, and with good reason. But you know what? In crucial ways you got a better education because of it,” Bruni told the graduating class on Sunday.

“You learned fate really does turn on a dime, you learned trouble comes how and when you least expect it, and the you can survive that trouble. You learned that there is no one way of doing things. There are almost always ingenious alternatives.

“You can choose to take comfort and confidence from that. You can regard what you have been through as empowering. That’s the trick of happiness.”

Down the road at Duke University, General Motors CEO Mary Barra delivered Sunday’s commencement address at Wallace Wade Stadium.

Barra, the first woman to lead a major auto company, has been ranked by Forbes and Fortune on their lists of the “Most Powerful Women in Business.”

Barra told the graduates five life lessons from her parent’s kitchen table made an indelible mark on who she is to this day. Those lessons:

#1 Do your best,

#2 find your purpose,

#3 listen to understand,

#4 be honest always, and

#5 include one more.

“There’s always room for one more. Everyone was included,” Barra reminisced.

“You know there’s a lot that’s not right in the world. Plenty to be worried about. But there are also so many reasons for hope, and I think the collective conversation and the progress we’re making on the power of inclusion is a huge cause for hope,” Barra said. “You are challenging assumptions and pushing all of us to be better. I hope you never stop.”

Click below to hear Barra speak on the importance of integrity: