(CNN) - Every year, college commencement speakers offer up guidance, life lessons and a few zingers to new graduates from schools large and small. Here are some high-profile commencement speakers that grads will hear from this spring.
Who was your graduation speaker? Do you remember what he or she said? Share your memories in the comments, tweet us @CNNschools or find us on Facebook!
Gorbachev at Emory University in 1992.
Bill Watterson, the creator of Calvin and Hobbes, gave a rare and memorable commencement speech at Kenyon College in 1990. As a fellow alumn he captured the feelings departing Kenyon beautifully.
Margaret Thatcher at the College of William and Mary in 2003
Doesn't matter who you get to speak.... there's still no jobs out there.
How about Bill Nye "the Science Guy", who spoke at Lehigh University on 5/20/13?
Go Bill Nye! He was great at Lehigh. I was there!
The President's speech this past weekend at Morehouse was powerful and inspirational, but we should expect no less from our President as he is a class act all the way.
Is the article incomplete? It says "Here are some high-profile commencement speakers grads will hear from this spring": ... and there's no list.
Hi CT, there should be a gallery atop the intro with photos and descriptions of the speakers atop the text. What platform are you viewing this on?
My commencement speaker was Mother Theresa of Calcutta. Her message was simple, yet powerful. She encouraged us to take of the "poor" and emphasized that the "poor" are everywhere. The "poor" are poor in spirit as well as money. They are the lonely, forsaken, ignored, different. They are in our own homes, families and communities.
I will never forget that message
What an absolute privilege.
I guess we must be classmates...
Having a big time name for college commencement speaker gives you the perfect farewell memory.
Honorary degrees mean nothing. They are a formality that schools give to celebrities. They do not mean that you attended even one class, and you definitely did not graduate. I would be insulted to have someone come speak to me, who has an honorary degree, if I had: attended classes, completed all coursework, completed graduation requirements and then someone like that came to speak at commencement. Maybe they are a way for colleges to get celebrities to start giving them money or something, but they mean nothing.
President George W. Bush – Oklahoma State University 2006
The Dalai Lama is speaking at Tulane's commencement...
Where is AZ Governor Jan Brewer giving a commencement address?
Noam Chomsky, political activist, spoke at Gettysburg College for commencement in 1992.
Tim Russert spoke at my grad sch commencement in 1999.
Worked at a HS where Jane Fonda gave their commencement address.
Billie Jean King at Williams College this year
You won't even mention your own business anchor speaking at ISU ;)?
My graduation from Stanford was made even more special when Captain Kangaroo spoke to us. It was a life changing speech and far more academic than anything I ever heard in class.
CNN, the Dalai Lama is speaking at Tulane University's graduation this Saturday and some blogger that no one cares about makes your list? How about we update this little oversight.
It is number 10 on this list
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Oberlin College 1987
Sunyalbany1972 Kurt vonnagart
Madeleine Albright was at my undergrad at Northeastern University in 2000 and again in 2007 for my graduate studies graduation at UNC Chapel Hill.
Adam West as Batman spoke to the Princeton class of 2007. His utility belt was totally awesome!
Erma Bombeck spoke at my graduation back in 1983. By far one of the best speakers ever. She was brutally honest and funny as hell.
Those of us who graduated from Harvard in spring, 2010, were duly impressed by the vast knowledge and inspriration from some dude dressed up in a Donald Duck costume. It was hard to understand what he was saying.
I take you all the way back to 1965, when I became a graduate of Michigan State University, and our commencement speaker was Supreme Court Chief Justice, Earl Warren, who spoke about a commitment to thoughtful courage, and was very inspiring.
Thanks for sharing, Rich! Condoleezza Rice spoke at my graduation from Michigan State University in 2004.
Bill Cosby is also speaking at Marquette University. But it is on Saturday May 18, 2013.
TOM BROKAW! It was pretty awesome.
President Reagan spoke at Notre Dame in 1981. His first public appearance outside of D.C. after the assassination attempt.
Dr. Michio Kaku spoke at Georgia Southern University 's graduate commencement on May 10th, 2013. GREAT speaker!!
It was a long time ago, but Charles Kuralt spoke at my graduation from UNC-Chapel Hill. The prior year, James Earl Jones spoke there.
Soledad O'Brien just spoke (very well) at Agnes Scott College this weekend! Give one of your own some credit for being famous!
Johnny Knoxville at Edison state college
Obama will be saying words at the school to celebrate glorious leader friendly school re-education camp. Should be a real hoot.
Obama was at The Ohio State University which is known for some big name speakers at commencement. I had the famous astronaut, John Glenn, and later the PM of Israel Yitzak Rabin. John Boehner was last year.
John Boehner was in 2011. I was there for that graduation.
Hank Aaron was the speaker for Marquette University in 2012. Exciting stuff for the baseball fans in the crowd.
Steve Wozniak also spoke at High Point University on May 4th!
Vice President Joe Biden spoke at the University of Pennsylvania commencement today (5/13). Much bigger name than half of the people on the list at the moment.
FYI: Obama was at The Ohio State University. :))
CNN you should probably add in the fact that the Dalai Lama is giving Tulane University's commencement address.
Frank Abagnale (the Catch Me If You Can guy) spoke at Southern Illinois University Carbondale on May 11th. Fascinating man!
My graduation speaker at UMBC in 1973 was the great psychologist B. F. Skinner. He received loud applause from the audience right at the beginning when he announced, "This will not be a long speech." He made some references to his famous pigeon studies and basically told us we were just beginning to achieve and we should not accept all the habits of old as gospel and should not be afraid to set our own generation's new ideas into action.
You were conditioned to applaud. He knew that.
Of all the names being thrown around here, Skinner is the one I would be interested in hearing.
He gave out some great advice.
Then, President of the US George Bush at Hampton University May 1991
President Obama, Morehouse College on May19th !
CNN: Bill Cosby is also giving the commencement speech at MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY'S graduation this Sunday in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Newark Mayor Corey Booker at Washington University in St. Louis on May 17.
He spoke at the 222nd commencement of Williams College, June 5, 2011. Amazing
1972 University of Virginia, commencement speaker was William F. Buckley
Jesse Jackson @ Tennessee State University plus Toni Morrison @ Vanderbilt University, I even got to meet her. 🙂
forgetting the Dalai Lama at Tulane? No big deal.
CNN, You should probably note that Ben Bernanke is giving the commencement speech at Bard College at Simon's Rock, in Massachusetts.
University of Munich Class of 1940 – Adolph Hitler
You're a moron.
That's not very nice, Mikey J
Still, though, if you're going to try to be funny, at least spell the guy's name right. "Adolph" Hitler is not famous, if he even exists/existed.
JOE BIDEN....WEST CHESTER UNIVERSITY 1986! CLASSIC STUFF!
Knox College which graduates only approximately 1,200 undergraduates a year has gotten, within the last 8 or so years, Madeleine Albright, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, former President Bill Clinton, current President (although at the time, mere Senator) Barack Obama, Stephen Colbert and this year will host Ed Helms. Helps to have Jon Podesta as a proud alum 🙂
Fairleigh Dickinson 1981 – Dizzy Gillespie. I remember his speech verbatim: "They told me I was gonna have to give a commencement address, but I don't know where he lives. So I'll just let my horn do my talking."
bill cosby spoke at the '97 nyu commencement ceremony. he had only three words for us... "Get a job!" i'm surprised he's still invited to these things after that.
Bob Saget gave my commencement address. He did a great job.
College of Mount Saint Vincent, 2009 – John Patrick Shanley, Director of Doubt
Julie Andrews, Not on the list???
Gary Trudeau @ UC Berkeley School of Law [Boalt Hall} 1977. Joanie Caucus was in our class, so I think he pretty much HAD to come. Made some funny observations about the similarities and differences between graduation ceremonies and student demonstrations.
Larry Gatlin spoke at Volunteer State Community College's commencement.....oh wait, the headline read "2013 Big Name College Commencement Speakers".
Gary Trudeau of Doonesbury fame spoke at U of Penn in 1979. I don't remember the specifics but remember laughing during most of it.
President Obama will speak at the Naval Academy...where the traditional Blue Angels flyover and demonstration are cancelled because of sequestration-based cuts.
Syracuse University 2004 – Phylicia Rashad -TERRIBLE!!!
I was there. She wrote it on the ride from the airport to the University. It was a disgrace. I wrote the Chancellor And advised him of my displeasure.
The following year they began to get serious again Dr Jane Goodall
Bill Cosby also spoke at my Commencement ceremony in 2003 at Bradley University
Bryant University 2008 – President George H. W. Bush
Vanderbilt's commencement speaker last week was Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison. Pretty spectactular speech.
In 2009 KU had our Chancellor, Robert Hemenway. He told everyone to take a picture of their neighbor (we were all siting in the stands at Memorial Stadium. Totally uninspiring and forgettable. The University, with a new chancellor, has since decided to invite our "inspiring" speakers.
Neil DeGrasse Tyson is awesome. I could listen to him talk about the universe for hours.
Yeah really, how does the Dalai Lama not get put on this list?
I agree, how'd the Dali Lama not make the list?!!!! Headed down to there for my niece!
On May 18, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be speaking at the Tulane University commencement in New Orleans, LA. It's sad to see the His Holiness couldn't get top bill on CNN's list over baseball players and track stars.
I guess the widow of Medgar Evers doesn't rate???
Bill Cosby will being speaking at the Marquette University Commencement in Milwaukee, WI this Sunday May 19th.
Cosby is awesome, too. My brother went to MUHS.
Here at Penn, VP Biden will be delivering the address today
Wow, very interesting that Former President Bill Clinton, who spoke at Howard University in Washington DC this past weekend, did not make this list. But I can't say that I'm all that surprised.
President Clinton also spoke 2 weeks ago at UCF, in Orlando...He doesn't make the list, but Annie Lennox does. Wow.
As a Professor ofNigrologyI'm giving a comencement talk on our continuing experiments in thefiinalsolutionto
theblackquestionof the nation.
We at Embry-Riddle had the legendary astronaut Story Musgrave as our commencement speaker. Please add him to the article/list. You have only listed the "A-list" celebrities who became famous for their money or TV appearances. Other than Neil Degrasse Tyson, there isn't a single person here who did not have monetary/financial/parental/aristocratic/political help. That is indeed a shame.
Neil Degrasse Tyson never had any monetary/financial/parental/aristocratic help? Did he come out of the womb with cash and astrophysics? Everyone has help you dolt. No one does anything by themselves. And those people who became "famous for their money"? Obama is famous for his money and tv appearences? Are you confusing anyone who has been on TV as being famous for being on TV? He's on TV because he's the damn President. Wynton Marsalis is famous for his money? What a self-righteous twit you are.
Ripken spelled with an "e"
Thank you for pointing it out! We've made that fix.
Um, Dalai Llama?? Fix the list CNN. Totally ridiculous!
Where is Michele Bachman speaking,or Sarah Palin ?
Who cares? Neither acts like they have an education. So why speak to intelligent grads.
The Dalai Lama is speaking at Tulane. Probably a bigger deal than some of these people.
Was just about to post that, and agreed! I can't wait for it. This Saturday, I believe.
The Southern Virginia University commencement speaker rated an entire article in The Atlantic, but not a single mention on your list.
Are you serious? John Green doesn't rate?
Apparently not, who is he?