Past Commencement Speakers

2019 Commencement speaker Mary Daly

2019 Mary Daly

View the video of Mary Daly remarks here.

View the full 2019 Commencement ceremony.



Commencement 2018 Ceremony Katherine Switzer Address

2018 Kathrine Switzer

View the video of Kathrine Switzer remarks here.

View the full 2018 Commencement ceremony.



2017 Vernon Jordan

View the video of Vernon Jordan remarks here.

 View the full 2017 Commencement ceremony.



2016 Donald Newhouse

Read the remarks and view the video here. “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.


Commencement 2015 Ceremony Mary Karr Address Speaker

2015 Mary Karr

Read the remarks and view the video here.


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


Commencement 2014 Ceremony David Remnick2014 David Remnick

Read David Remnick’s remarks and view the video here.

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




Commencement 2013 Ceremony Nicholas Kristof Address Speaker

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.”




Commencement 2012 Ceremony Aaron Sorkin2012 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…”




Commencement 2011 Ceremony J. Craig Venter Speaker2011 J. Craig Venter

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





156th Commencement 2010 Jamie Dimon Speaker2010 Jamie Dimon

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





 College Of Law Commencement 2006 Joe Joseph Biden Speaker2009 Vice President Joe Biden

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





 154th Commencement & Convocations 2008 Robert Bob Woodruff Speaker2008 Bob Woodruff

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




154th Commencement & Convocations 2008 Robert Bob Woodruff Speaker2007 Frank McCourt

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





152nd Commencement & Convocations 2006 Billy Joel Speaker2006 Billy Joel

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




151st Commencement & Convocations 2005 Jane Goodall Speaker2005 Jane Goodall

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




150th Commencement & Convocations 2004 Phylicia Rashad Speaker2004 Phylicia Rashad

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





149th Commencement & Convocations 2003 President William Bill Clinton Speaker2003 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.”




2002 Rudolph 148th Commencement & Convocations 2002 Mayor Rudolph Rudy Giuliani SpeakerGiuliani

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