Graduation Speeches? Of any value?

It's the speeches I have problems with: they all follow the same pattern, as though there is a template that everybody consults in advance. Someone - a vice-chancellor, pro vice-chancellor or what have you - rises with dignity and takes the stand to deliver eight to 20 minutes (I time them!) of pompous dross. Usually these speeches take place at the start, but occasionally they come after the presentations, when everyone is desperate to leave.…