Monday, May 16, 2011

Denzel Gets Honorary Degree

Denzel Washington made remarks during the University of Pennsylvania's 255th Commencement Monday, May 16, 2011, in Philadelphia.

The 56-year-old star of "Malcolm X" and "Philadelphia" delivered a humorous speech with a sobering truth: Failure is inevitable. Yet instead of having something to fall back on, he said, graduates should "fall forward" -- learn from their mistakes and keep going.
Thomas Edison had countless failed experiments before succeeding with the light bulb, he said.
"Do you have the guts to fail?" Washington said. "If you don't fail, you're not even trying."

Washington received an honorary doctorate at the ceremony. In granting the degree, Penn President Amy Gutmann said that his moving performances have "entertained us, inspired us and often enlightened us." She also praised his off-screen work with charities and social causes, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
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