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In his speech entitled “because we can, we must” (University of Pennsylvania Almanac, 2004), Bono delivered his anecdotes and appeals, ushering the graduates to resolve the underlying conundrums. First, Bono humbly accepts the Doctor Degree of Law and recounts the educational experiences that he has acquired. Bono did not attend college; however, his acceptance enlightens the graduates that true education lies in rectifying mistakes in life than merely in books. Second, Bono proposes that commencement is a turning point for the would-be undergraduates, and that “big idea” is necessary to bring about the change. In other words, university education has equipped the graduates to tackle issues such as failures in government, global warming, and poverty in some regions. Speaking of poverty,Bono narrates his experiences in Africa which have shaped his persona as “a rock star with a cause”. Meanwhile, he praised the American spirit of “no problem we cannot fix”, from which he comments that we could solve all problems with efforts. Thus he encourages graduates to “betray the age”, meaning, to provoke revolutions and to explore and tackle the issues using creativity. Last, Bono reassures the graduates that arming with degree, they could combat the problems. To close his speech, Bono appeals that their generation is to undertake the responsibility of erecting a new world.
This graduation speech is apt for a graduation and substantial in conveying messages judging from the speech contents. Similarly, Gault’s “commencement speech genre” (2008, p4) suggests that a graduation address should create bonds, recognize efforts, unveil the world and instill hopes. First, Bono opens the speech with his personal anecdotes, narrating his story that he ...

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University of Pennsylvania Almanac (Almanac between Issues). (2004, May 19). Because we can, we must [Transcript of Bono’s commencement address]. Retrieved from

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