In the past weeks, I was honored to have the chance to address three graduating classes at three commencement ceremonies. While the institutions differed in size and scope, they share a profound dedication to their students—and to preparing those students to meet today’s challenges.

My words to each class varied, but my core message was the same. I spoke about the literal and figurative bridges we all cross during our lives, and the many turning points along the way—a subject I’ve been thinking about a lot this past year.

Standing and looking out on graduates and their loved ones was invigorating. I saw communities of accomplished people who are taking the next big step on their own journeys, and who can help us build a bridge to a better world. I truly cannot wait to see what they do next.

For the first time in its history, commencement at the University of Texas at Austin was cancelled due to inclement weather. Still, I was thrilled to deliver these remarks at my alma mater—to a small indoor audience, and a wider one on video.

Read my message to the Class of 2015 at Presidio Graduate School.

Read my address to the graduating class of Hostos Community College.