Graduation 2011: The Most Inspiring (and Funny) Speeches [VIDEO]

Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks spoke at Yale's graduation this spring

With the official kickoff to summer underway, it means your kids will be doing their best to forget about homework, books and learning while they trade their school hats for vacation.

But before they put their school days behind them for days of the hotter and lazier variety, take a few minutes to watch some of this spring’s best college commencement speeches from such notables as Amy Poehler (“Be open to collaboration; be open to people who inspire you…no one is here today because they did it on their own. You’re all here today because someone gave you strength”), Michelle Obama (“Commitment to family. These are the keys to success in any field”), and Denzel Washington (“Do you have the guts to fail? If you don’t fail, you’re not even trying”), and see if you can’t sneak in some inspiration before heading off to the beach:

Amy Poehler at Harvard

A compilation of some of the spring’s best commencement speeches

Video: The Daily Beast
Video: CBS News

Image: Wikipedia

More of Amy Poehler in Babble’s 50 Funniest Celeb Moms list!