Denzel Washington

Actor Denzel Washington arrives at the premiere of Twentieth Century Fox's 'Unstoppable' at Regency Village Theater on October 26, 2010 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

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Denzel Washington knows how to give a good speech.

Just ask this year’s graduating class at Dillard University. Saturday, the Oscar-winning actor delivered a speech with  four life goals for everyone in attendance and plenty of laughs along the way:

First: Put God first … Second: Fail big… a dream without goals is just a dream …Third: You will never see a U-Haul behind a hearse … and Four: Say thank-you in advance for what is already yours.

Washington’s next film is a western, a remake of The Magnificent Seven, and probably explains his ‘new look.’ He concluded his speech with more brilliance: “Don’t inspire to make a living, inspire to make a difference.”

Got it.

Washington wasn’t just a quote-machine either. He admitted to having a 1.7 GPA at one point during college before he turned things around.

Washington received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Dillard administrators after the speech. He had another commencement speech to give at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas.

Both colleges are HBCUs.

Washington has had great influence at Dillard after setting up a scholarship program for students who go into theater. This scholarship is among the oldest of HBCU programs and has seen many students through their studies, including this year’s valedictorian, Ariel Lucius.

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