Dear graduates ...

With graduation season here, we asked commencement speakers: What's your best piece of advice for the Class of 2014?

Bechara Choucair

Chicago Public Health Commissioner

Guest of: UIC College of Medicine

"It's the same advice my grandmother gave me when I was still in school. She wanted to know all about my work and what I had learned so far. After I told her, she looked at me and said, 'If you listen to people's stories, you will be the best doctor in the world.' I encourage all graduates to do the same. Listen, learn and grow."

Shawn Lent

Social practice dance artist in Egypt

Guest of: Millikin

"Treat your degree like a passport, not a trophy to be put on the shelf. Your degree allows you new experiences and opportunities: apply to them all, even those that seem outside your field or how you label yourself. Let your degree be your passport into the world."

Paul Adriani

Intergration Technical Manager, SunPower Corp.

Guest of: UI School of Chemical Sciences

"The one piece of advice which is both applicable to everyone — and not yet generally accepted by everyone — is that we all should favor serious efforts to reduce climate change, which will gradually impact all of us and the entire environment."

Victoria DeFrancesco Soto

Fellow, LBJ School of Public Affairs, Texas

Guest of: Northeastern Illinois

"All politics is local. This is my mantra: a) because it's one of the few truisms in politics and b) because this brings the idea of getting involved, making a difference and doing something manageable. I know taking first step can be daunting but it is made less so by starting close to home."

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