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Katie Holmes dons a cap and gown to deliver commencement speech at The University of Toledo  

Katie Holmes’ latest role is commencement speaker.

The 40-year-old actress returned to her hometown of Toledo, Ohio on Saturday to address the 2019 graduating class of The University of Toledo.

Donning a cap and gown, Holmes took to the stage and delivered an inspiring message to the next generation of thinkers, workers and entrepreneurs.

Graduation day! Katie Holmes returned to her hometown of Toledo, Ohio on Saturday to address the 2019 graduating class of The University of Toledo

Graduation day! Katie Holmes returned to her hometown of Toledo, Ohio on Saturday to address the 2019 graduating class of The University of Toledo

‘Don’t be intimidated about that first job or internship or audition. And if you get it, well I have some tips for what you’ll need when you’re first starting out,’ Holmes said.

The ceremony was held in the University’s Glass Bowl and Katie’s remarks lasted 15 minutes. In addition to being the commencement speaker, the actress was given an honorary degree of humane letters.

Holmes was accepted to Columbia University when she was younger but deferred to continue her on-camera career and never ended up attending college.

Her older brother Martin is an alumnus of The University of Toledo so Katie was able to recollect some personal memories of the campus.   

Wow! In addition to being the commencement speaker, the actress was given an honorary degree of humane letters

Wow! In addition to being the commencement speaker, the actress was given an honorary degree of humane letters

A class of 2,000 undergraduates sat in rapt attention as the former Dawson’s Creek star dolled out pearls of wisdom that she’d learned over her career as well as a few wise cracks.   

‘We live in a country where we have so many options, and for so many people in the world, our worst days would almost be a dream come true for them. Try to continue your education for yourself on your own terms,’ she said.

In a more humorous piece of advice, Katie joked: ‘Another thing I learned, don’t use a fake ID to buy wine and then try to pay with a check. I’m aware that no one pays by check these days, but that’s just more reason not to do it. That’ll be extra confusing.’ 

'We live in a country where we have so many options, and for so many people in the world, our worst days would almost be a dream come true for them. Try to continue your education for yourself on your own terms,' she said.

‘We live in a country where we have so many options, and for so many people in the world, our worst days would almost be a dream come true for them. Try to continue your education for yourself on your own terms,’ she said.

The star offered tips on everything from auditioning to what to do in a natural disaster to finances. She also took a moment to address women’s rights.

‘For the young women in the audience, I want to encourage you to lift up, listen to, and trust one another,’ she said from the podium. 

‘I would not have been able to direct the films I’ve directed without a chorus of talented, creative, and brilliant women to give me support. 

‘Women need each other now more than ever, to continue the fight over equal pay, mutual respect and the war against systemic abuse and mistreatment.’ 

'Women need each other now more than ever, to continue the fight over equal pay, mutual respect and the war against systemic abuse and mistreatment.' (photographed with daughter Suri in 2018)

‘Women need each other now more than ever, to continue the fight over equal pay, mutual respect and the war against systemic abuse and mistreatment.’ (photographed with daughter Suri in 2018)

The mother of one ended by advising the female graduates that ‘especially now, women supporting women could not be more important.’

During her speech, Katie reflected on her career as an actress and vaguely referenced her co-stars from her most famous show, Dawson’s Creek, which she shot at 18 years old. 

‘When I moved from Toledo to North Carolina at the age of 18 to start working on Dawson’s Creek, we were four unknown actors working for a network that had just begun,’ Holmes said.

'When I moved from Toledo to North Carolina at the age of 18 to start working on Dawson's Creek, we were four unknown actors working for a network that had just begun,' Holmes said. 'No one knew what was supposed to happen. Luckily, something did.'

‘When I moved from Toledo to North Carolina at the age of 18 to start working on Dawson’s Creek, we were four unknown actors working for a network that had just begun,’ Holmes said. ‘No one knew what was supposed to happen. Luckily, something did.’

‘No one knew what was supposed to happen. Luckily, something did. The odds were totally stacked against me, but guess what — the odds are stacked against everybody,’ she continued. ‘So if you’re waiting for a sign, this is it.’

While many in the crowd enjoyed the speech by Tom Cruise’s ex, not everyone was on board with the choice of commencement speaker. 

 ‘I wasn’t really impressed by it,’ a female graduate told the Toledo Blade. ‘She’s famous and stuff but she wasn’t a UT [graduate]. I would have been more interested in an actual UT [graduate] who was famous and had given their presentation. 

‘That would have been more relatable. I think they just kind of chose her because she’s famous and she was probably willing to.’

Via CelebStarZone

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