Power Players

Laurene Powell Jobs echoes late husband Steve Jobs in commencement speech: 'Let his words guide you as they've guided me'

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Laurene Powell Jobs speaks onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2017. (Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch)
Steve Jennings

Laurene Powell Jobs delivered the commencement address on Monday to the University of Pennsylvania 2021 graduation class.

In her speech, she echoed the advice her late husband, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, gave her.

"Steve used to say your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work," Powell Jobs said.

"And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Let his words guide you, as they've guided me," she said.

Powell Jobs also encouraged students create their own set of values and practices to shape their lives and careers.

"They don't have to be grandiose but they must be regular. Make space for them and make time. Tend to your soul and to your community, infuse your values into every part of what you do and how you live," she said.

"Your values should be like your fingerprints, proof of where you have been and what you have touched."

Powell Jobs is the founder and president of the Emerson Collective, an umbrella organization for her philanthropic and business endeavors that focus on education, immigration, climate and cancer research and treatment. She is also an alumna of Penn, earning her B.A. in political science from the College of Arts and Sciences and a B.S. in economics from the Wharton School.

"Laurene is a most inspiring example of the leadership, philanthropy, and advocacy of Penn grads determined to make a positive impact on our society and world," University of Pennsylvania president Amy Gutmann said in a press release.

During the commencement ceremony, Powell Jobs also received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree, the release said.

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This story has been updated to include remarks from Powell Jobs' commencement speech.