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Emily Ratajkowski Sends Moving Message to Students During Commencement

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We’re giving this speech an A+.

Emily Ratajkowski delivered a commencement address to Hunter College’s Class of 2023 on Jan. 19. Donning a purple cap and gown for New York City event, the model, 31, reminded the student body to those who’ve joined them on their academic journeys, as seen in portions of her speech posted to Instagram.

“It’s hard to celebrate myself, not as an imposter in a body, but as a soul deserving of joy,” Emily said in a clip from the speech. “And I bet a few people here feel the same way. So, if you can’t celebrate yourself, maybe do it for others—for the friends and family that greeted you when you returned home after your long day, who listened to you complain about your workload and your schedule, who encouraged you when you were filled with stress and hopelessness.”

She continued, “For the loved ones who fill this audience, who can remember when you first had the idea to try and get this degree and cheered you on when you were sure you’d never make it. The people in your life who love you are a precious gift. Treat them as such. Enjoy them as such. Celebrate with them.”


In another portion of her speech, Emily—who shares 22-month-old son Sylvester Apollo Bear with ex-husband Sebastian Bear-McClard—reflected on her own experiences taking the time to celebrate.

“Here’s what I missed in not celebrating,” Emily said, “I missed out on joy.”

Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

The My Body author, who enrolled at UCLA for a year before dropping out to focus on modeling, also shared snapshots of herself from the event, including a backstage photo of her and the violet Hunter College mascot, Hunter Hawk.

“CONGRATULATIONS CLASS OF ‘23! what an honor!” she captioned her post. “Thank you so much to President Raab and Hunter College for having me today.”

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