Michelle Obama, Sen. Cory Booker to speak at two commencements each

EAB Daily Briefing's list

As graduation time nears, colleges and universities are rolling out their commencement speaker announcements with big names in media, STEM, politics, and more. 

Stay on top of the latest developments by following our list of notable commencement speakers, updated each Monday.

See last year's speakers

Institutions are listed in alphabetical order and grouped by speaker's industry. Entries marked with * have been added since our most recent update.

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


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.

Gettysburg College: Cokie and Steve Roberts, journalists, media personalities, and syndicated columnists.

Harvard University: Steven Spielberg, director.

Ithaca College: Adam Ellick, New York Times correspondent.

Johns Hopkins University: Spike Lee, award-winning director, actor, producer, author, educator, and entrepreneur.

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.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Matt Damon, Oscar-winning actor and filmmaker.

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

Olin College: Thomas Friedman, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author.

Syracuse University: Donald Newhouse, alumnus and President of Advance Publications, the parent company of Syracuse Media Group.

Stanford University: Ken Burns, Emmy-winning filmmaker.

Tufts University: Hank Azaria, alumnus and voice actor on The Simpsons.

Tulane University: Hoda Kotb, TV news anchor and host, co-host of NBC's Today Show.

*University of Georgia: Ryan Seacrest, media personality and TV host.

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

University of Pennsylvania: Lin-Manuel Miranda, composer, creator of award-winning Broadway musicals "In the Heights" and "Hamilton," and MacArthur Genius Award recipient.

*University of Virginia: Sarah Drew, alumna and actor.


*Baldwin Wallace University: Vice Admiral Peter Neffenger, alumnus and administrator of the Transportation Security Administration.

Carthage College: Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), speaker of the House of Representatives. 

*City College of New York: Michelle Obama, first lady.

Elon University: David Gergen, former presidential adviser, co-director of the Center for Leadership at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

*George Washington University: Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), former mayor of Newark, New Jersey.

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

*Huston-Tillotson University: Steve Adler, mayor of Austin, Texas.

*Jackson State University: Michelle Obama, first lady.

*North Carolina A&T University: Anthony Foxx, U.S. secretary of transportation.

Northeastern University: Secretary of State John Kerry.

Notre Dame University: Martin Dempsey, chair of Joint Chiefs of Staff, retired U.S. Army General.

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 (D), former mayor of Newark, New Jersey.

*York College of the City University of New York: Julián Castro, U.S. secretary of housing and urban development.


College of William and Mary: 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, alumnus and quarterback of the NFL's Seattle Seahawks.

*Yeshiva University: Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots; founder, chair, and CEO of The Kraft Group.


*Rutgers University, Mason Gross: Kevin Goetz, alumnus, CEO of Screen Engine.

University of California, Berkeley: Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook.

*University of Maryland, College Park: Kevin Plank, alumnus, founder and CEO of Under Armour.

University of Michigan: Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, founder, CEO, and owner of Bloomberg LP.


Emory University: William Foege, epidemiologist credited with creating the strategy that ended smallpox.

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

*Ohio State University: Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health.

Rochester Institute of Technology: France Córdova, National Science Foundation director, astrophysicist, and president emerita of Purdue University.

Smith College: Megan Smith, U.S. chief technology officer.

*University of Arizona: Vivek Murthy, U.S. Surgeon General.

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


*Messiah College: Peter Greer, alumnus and president and CEO of Hope International.

University of New Hampshire: Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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.

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

Warren Wilson College: Ray Offenheiser, Oxfam America President.

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

Next in Today's Briefing

Around the industry: Prescott College students sign petition to help fund undocumented peers' education

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