Past Commencement Speakers

Donald Newhouse

2016 Donald Newhouse

Read the remarks and view the video. “Your education here and the education that I hope will be a continuing process in your lives is an essential part of the equipment you will need both to contribute as professionals to the greater community and also to help you live your lives, your personal lives, in a thoughtful, productive, and decent way”

View the full 2016 Commencement ceremony video.

Mary Karr

2015 Mary Karr

Read the remarks and view the video

“If you’re lucky, you fell in love here. And if you’re really lucky, you had your heart broken.”

David Remnick

2014 David Remnick

Read David Remnick’s remarks and view the video.

“Nothing is inevitable. If this day means anything, it means that you are now in the contingent of the responsible.”

Nicholas Kristof

2013 Nicholas Kristof

Read the remarks and view the video. “My advice is to find some issue that resonates with you, that you care about, and then work to get engaged in it.”
Aaron Sorkin

2012 Aaron Sorkin

Read the remarks and view the video. “Don’t ever forget that you’re a citizen of this world, and there are things you can do to lift the human spirit…”
J. Craig Venter

2011 J. Craig Venter

Read the remarks. “Change is 100% dependent on motivated individuals…”
Jamie Dimon

2010 Jamie Dimon

Read the remarks. “Have the courage to speak the truth, even when it is unpopular…”
Joe Biden

2009 Vice President Joe Biden

View the video. “I too graduated from this great University into an uncertain world…”
Bob Woodruff

2008 Bob Woodruff

View the video. “You know, your generation has the power to direct the future, to change it, to make it better…”
Frank McCourt

2007 Frank McCourt

View the video. “Find what you love, and do it.”
Billy Joel

2006 Billy Joel

View the video. “I hope that in the time you were here you learned something very important, and that is…”
Jane Goodall

2005 Jane Goodall

View the video. “If there was time, I would greet each one of you with the chimpanzee exuberance of congratulations, which is an embrace and a kiss.”
Phylicia Rashad

2004 Phylicia Rashad

Read the remarks [PDF] and view the video. “The best way to live in this world is with a mother’s heart.”
Bill Clinton

2003 Former President Bill Clinton

Read the remarks [PDF] and view the video. “It is your job as citizens, either of our country or of some 70 other nations from which you come, to try to build your trend lines.”
Rudolph Giuliani

2002 Rudolph Giuliani

View the video. “If you want to succeed in life, there are two things you need. You need a belief, and you need courage.”