THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER -- Bening said she was honored to have been asked by the foundation to “join the chorus of voices” offering congratulations to the grads. She has experience, too. Bening called herself a “proud graduate” of both Arizona’s Mesa Community College and San Francisco State University before launching into her advice and encouragement. She did so by quoting famed theoretical physicist and Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman.
“In the words of Professor Richard Feynman, I’d say study what you love in the most original, irreverent and undisciplined way possible,” said Bening. “And don’t forget, you’re under no obligation to remain the same person that you were a year ago, a month ago or even a day ago. You are here to create yourself, continuously.”
She then acknowledged the current climate of political, racial and economic unrest as the United States faces a variety of pandemics due to racial injustice, COVID-19 and the worst recession since the Great Depression.
“You’re coming of age during a time of foundational change, whether that applies to systemic racism or gender- and sexuality-based discrimination. I encourage you to speak truth to power in whatever way feels right to you,” said Bening, mother to a transgender son. “Please keep your doors of perception open to the wonders of the world, and don’t forget to vote.”