A graduation ceremony is an event where the commencement speaker tells thousands of students dressed in identical caps and gowns that "individuality" is the key to success.
Axiome: la haine du bourgeois est le commencement de la vertu. Axiom: Hatred of the bourgeois is the beginning of wisdom.Gustave Flaubert
En ma fin git mon commencement. In my end is my beginning.
The slave who digs in the mine or labors at the oar can rejoice at the prospect of laying down his burden together with his life; but to the slave of guilt there arises no hope from death. On the contrary, he is obliged to look forward with constant terror to this most certain of all events, as the conclusion of all his hopes, and the commencement of his greatest miseries.blair hugh
Nothing is as easy to make as a promise this winter to do something next summer; this is how commencement speakers are caught.sydney j. harris
Ma fin est mon commencementEt mon commencement ma fin.guillaume de machaut
Death is not "an eternal sleep!" Citizens! efface from the tomb that motto, graven by sacrilegious hands, which spreads over all nature a funereal crape, takes from oppressed innocence its support, and affronts the beneficent dispensation of death! Inscribe rather thereon these words: "Death is the commencement of immortality!"maximilien robespierre
[A]s a commencement the Lord appeared unto Joseph Smith, both the Father and the Son, the Father pointing to the Son said, "this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him" Here then, was a communication from the heavens made known unto man on the earth, and he at that time came into possession of a fact that no man knew in the world but he, and that is that God lived, for he had seen him, and that his Son Jesus Christ lived, for he also had seen him.john taylor
L’homme qui, dès le commencement, a été longtemps baigné dans la molle atmosphère de la femme, dans l’odeur de ses mains, de son sein, de ses genoux, de sa chevelure, de ses vêtements souples et flottants, Dulce balneum suavibus Unguentatum odoribus, y a contracté une délicatesse d’épiderme et une distinction d’accent, une espèce d’androgynéité, sans lesquelles le génie le plus âpre et le plus viril reste, relativement à la perfection dans l’art, un être incomplet.Charles Baudelaire
Sweet bath, suavely
Scented with ointments,
has acquired a delicacy of skin, a refinement of tone, a kind of androgyny without which the toughest and most virile of geniuses remains, when it comes to artistic perfection, an incomplete being."Un mangeur d'opium," VII: Chagrins d'enfance 
I have beheld no day since the commencement of hostilities that I have thought her liberties in such eminent danger as at present. Friends and foes seem now to combine to pull down the goodly fabric as we have hitherto been raising at the expence of so much time, blood, and treasure; and unless the bodies politick will exert themselves to bring things back to first principles, correct abuses, and punish our internal foes, inevitable ruin must follow.
Hail! Philadelphia, tho' Quaker thou be, The birth-day of medical honors to thee In this country belongs; 'twas thou caught the flame, That crossing the ocean from Englishmen came And kindled the fires of Wisdom and Knowledge, Inspired the student, erected a college, First held a commencement with suitable state, In the year of our Lord, seventeen sixty-eight.
All customs must be supposed to have had a good commencement, unless they appear to be inconsistent or against reason.
I have looked into the books in order to discover the origin of the proceeding of paying money into Court, but without being able to fix the period of its commencement, though I think it highly probable that it took its rise early in the present century.
The historical era is, we know, only a small portion of the entire age of our globe. We do not know what may have happened during the ages which preceded its commencement, as we do not know what may happen in ages yet in the distant future. All, therefore, that we can properly infer from the apparently invariable production of like by like is, that such is the ordinary procedure of nature in the time immediately passing before our eyes.
La haine du Bourgeois est le commencement de la vertu.
commencement speeches were invented largely in the belief that outgoing college students should never be released into the world until they have been properly sedated.Garretson Trudeau
The slave who digs in the mine or labors at the oar can rejoice at the prospect of laying down his burden together with his life; but to the slave of guilt there arises no hope from death. On the contrary, he is obliged to look forward with constant terror to this most certain of all events, as the conclusion of all his hopes, and the commencement of his greatest miseries.
With consistency, beautiful and undeviating, human life, from its commencement to its close, is protected by the common law. In the contemplation of law, life begins when the infant is first able to stir in the womb. By the law, life is protected not only from immediate destruction, but from every degree of actual violence, and, in some cases, from every degree of danger.
Ours is the commencement of a flying age, and I am happy to have popped into existence at a period so interesting.
commencement speakers have a good deal in common with grandfather clocks: Standing usually some six feet tall, typically ponderous in construction, more traditional than functional, their distinction is largely their noisy communication of essentially commonplace information. - commencement address at University of Iowa.
The appearance... of limestone beds in the early part of the stratified series, may be presumed to be connected with the fact of the commencement of organic life upon our planet, and, indeed, a consequent and a symptom of it. ...My hypothesis may indeed be unsound; but, whether or not, it is clear, taking organic remains as upon the whole a faithful chronicle, that the deposition of these limestone beds was coeval with the existence of the earliest, or all but the earliest, living creatures upon earth.Robert Chambers