Yesterday, we took a look at the first batch of speakers on tap for spring 2013 college commencement exercises. In that first look we learned that a number of colleges and universities will get an early start by sending grads off before May. Several other schools have also announced their speakers, including the following individuals that hope to leave lasting impressions with this latest crop of college graduates.
Class of 2013 Speakers
1. Vanderbilt University — Author, Pulitzer and Nobel prize winner Toni Morrison will address the class of 2013 at Vanderbilt’s Senior Day event, held on May 9, the day before its commencement exercise. In 1988, Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize for Beloved and followed that award up in 1993 by garnering the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 2012, President Obama bestowed her with the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom. These days Morrison is writing fiction, releasing Home in 2012.
2. Duke University — Philanthropist and business Leader Melinda Gates is scheduled to speak to Duke graduates on May 12. Gates graduated from Duke in 1986 and followed up with an MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School in 1987. Gates’ husband, Bill, founded Microsoft where she worked on various multimedia products. The couple married in 1994 and founded The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the largest foundations in the world.
3. DePauw University — This Indiana school will welcome back one of its own when class of 1998 graduate Elisa Villanueva Beard addresses the class of 2013 on May 18. Beard is CEO for “Teach for America,” the program that takes recent college graduates and places them in urban schools. This large, non-profit organization is not without controversy as many of its teachers do not have an educational background. Instead, Teach for America puts its prospective teachers through a five-week training class before sending them out to teach.
4. Morehouse College — President Barack Obama is scheduled to address the class of 2013 at Morehouse College on May 19, one of only three remaining all-male liberal arts colleges left in the United States. Morehouse counts many famous people among its alumni including Martin Luther King, Jr., Herman Cain, Walter E. Massey, Samuel L. Jackson, Spike Lee and Julian Bond. Current Morehouse President John Silvanus Wilson Jr. recently concluded his service as executive director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs or historically black colleges and universities.
5. University of Notre Dame — This Indiana university, the face of Catholic education in America, will welcome Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to its campus on May 19. Cardinal Dolan has served as New York archbishop since 2009, following seven years as archbishop of Milwaukee. He entered the priesthood in 1976 and served in Missouri and Washington, DC, and later served as adjunct professor of theology at Saint Louis University. In 2012, Pope Benedict elevated him to cardinal.
6. Johns Hopkins University — Renowned neurosurgeon Ben Carson, a Johns Hopkins affiliated physician, will address JHU graduates on May 23 at Homewood Field. Recently, Carson has been in the public spotlight for comments he made at a National Prayer Breakfast event attended by President Obama and for remarks supporting biblical marriage. Carson, however, is best known for the work he has done to save children’s lives, including the Binder twins, conjoined at the head and successfully separated in 1987.
7. Stanford University — New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg will take to the podium on June 16 to speak to Stanford’s graduating class. The three-term mayor, business mogul and news titan has used his influence to bring about change in his city and beyond. Bloomberg has promoted policies that have improved the health, safety and education of New Yorkers, while also introducing economic reform and environmental initiatives. His philanthropic efforts are well known including the largest donation ever made to Johns Hopkins University, his alma mater.