Second Look at 2012 College Commencement Speakers
Tassle-turning time approaches for this year’s grads.
When you graduate from college, you get to go to a really nifty ceremony, obtain your degree wrapped in a scroll and enclosed in a bright red bow, and listen to one or more dynamic speakers. Well, at least you hope that your school scores a memorable name as its primary commencement speaker. Yesterday, we gave you our first batch of commencement speakers, people that include one Commander-in-Chief and two first ladies including the current first lady, Michelle Obama. Today’s list brings to you another seven speakers, names you most likely recognize.
1. Southern Methodist University — Former national security adviser and former secretary of the state, Condoleezza Rice has been chosen as the commencement speaker for SMU’s graduation ceremony on May 12. Rice, a one-time Stanford University provost and currently a political science instructor, also chairs the board of advisors for the George W. Bush Institute. A presidential library for the 43rd president is currently under construction at SMU.
2. Harvey Mudd College — He is known as “Bill Nye, the Science Guy,” or everyone’s favorite geek. Nye was the commencement speaker for Harvey Mudd College in 2008 and returns in 2012 to address this California school’s 54th commencement ceremony on May 13. Nye currently serves as president of The Planetary Society, the world’s foremost space-interest group. He currently hosts three television shows and remains a licensed mechanical engineer in the state of Washington.
3. Goucher College — Radio host and Baltimore native, Ira Glass, will be the commencement speaker at Goucher College this spring. Goucher’s class of 2012 will hold its graduation ceremony on May 18. Glass has been producing This American Life since 1996, a nationally syndicated radio show with 1.7 million listeners reports the Towson Patch.
4. Babson College — In Massachusetts, Babson College will hold its spring commencement on May 19. Two speakers, Reid Hoffman, who is the co-founder of LinkedIn and Maria Eitel, founding president and CEO of the Nike Foundation will address this year’s grads. LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site online. The Nike Foundation is behind “the girl effect” whereby women are given the opportunity to effect social and economic change.
5. University of Delaware — Soledad O’Brien, an Emmy-winning correspondent and anchor for CNN’s Starting Point, will will deliver the commencement address at the University of Delaware’s 163rd commencement on May 26. In 2011, O’Brien won an Emmy for her coverage of the crisis in Haiti following its devastating earthquake. O’Brien has frequently covered diversity issues and was previously with NBC News and MSNBC.
6. Cornell University — New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg will be the commencement speaker at Cornell University’s senior convocation on May 26. Bloomberg, the three-term mayor of the nation’s largest city, has advanced education in his city and has worked to bring in private sector jobs, and at a pace that is faster than most cities. Also a philanthropist, Bloomberg has donated more than $2 billion to a variety of organizations down through the years.
7. United States Military Academy — Vice President Joe Biden has a pair of high school commencements to address this year. He will also travel to West Point to the address the 2012 graduating class for the U.S. Army’s academy. Biden, the former Delaware senator, is seeking a second-term with President Obama this November.
We’re working on our third list of commencement speakers. That list will incorporate more western schools as well as colleges and universities holding commencement exercises in June.