In his first public speaking appearance since his wife Natasha Richardson's tragic death, Liam Neeson quoted poet Paul Muldoon to describe how art helps heal the heart. Neeson -- who left the college before graduating -- received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Queens University Belfast, at the British Consulate in NYC on Wednesday.
He told students that art "builds from pain, from misery, from a deep-seated hurt, a monument to the human heart that shines like a golden dome among roofs rain-glazed and leaden," according to Irish Central.
The actor -- whose two sons, Micheal, 13, and Daniel, 12, sat closest to the podium -- appeared nervous at first when he got behind the podium. "Everybody assumes that actors are great public speakers," he said. "It's terrifying. Forgive me for reading it." But he made it through his speech, sharing with students one of the most valuable lessons he learned from school. "I think it is a message that a university always gives its students in the end: It's time to move on, get on with your life," he said. "I got on with mine, and I'm still getting on."