21 astronauts, CEOs, and other notables speaking at commencements this year

EAB Daily Briefing's list

While it's only mid-March, graduation for the class of 2016 isn't too far away.

Watch for our regularly updated list of notable commencement speakers. Who will give the best—or strangest—advice this year? Who are you most looking forward to hearing from?

Should your school's commencement speaker be included on this list? Email us to submit your speaker for Daily Briefing consideration.

See last year's speakers

Institutions are listed in alphabetical order and grouped by speaker's industry.


Cornell University: James Franco, actor.

DePauw University: Tavis Smiley, television and radio host, New York Times best-selling author, nonprofit founder, and recipient of 16 honorary doctorates.

Harvard University: Steven Spielberg, director.

Loyola University (New Orleans): Harry Connick Jr., jazz musician.

Loyola University Maryland: Wes Moore, author, veteran, and former Rhodes Scholar.

Marquette University: Judith Mayotte, an alumnae, author, teacher, and Emmy-winning television producer.

Northwestern University: Seth Meyers, an alumnus, comedian, and host of NBC's "Late Night." 

University of Montana: J.K. Simmons, alumnus and Oscar-winning actor.


Carthage College: Rep. Paul Ryan, speaker of the House of Representatives. 

High Point University: Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of state and national security advisor.

Northeastern University: Secretary of State John Kerry.

Union College: Charlie Baker, governor of Massachusetts.

University of Minnesota, Morris: R.T. Rybak, former Minneapolis mayor and current executive director of Generation Next.

William Paterson University: Sen. Cory Booker, former mayor of Newark, New Jersey.


College of William and Marry: Jill Ellis, alumna and head coach of the 2015 World Cup-winning U.S. Women's National Soccer Team. 

University of Wisconsin-Madison: Russell Wilson, an alumnus and quarterback of the NFL's Seattle Seahawks.


Le Moyne College: Jeanette Epps, astronaut, alumna, and former Central Intelligence Agency technical intelligence officer.

Rochester Institute of Technology: France Córdova, director of the National Science Foundation.

University of Southern California: Larry Ellison, Oracle founder, executive chair, and chief technology officer.


University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill:  Anne-Marie Slaughter, author of the 2012 article, "Why Women Still Can't Have It All," and president and CEO of New America.

Wesleyan University: Bryan Stevenson, human rights lawyer, founder and chief executive officer of the Equal Justice Initiative.

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