First Look at 2013 College Commencement Speakers

First Look at 2013 College Commencement Speakers


It may seem hard to believe, but by the end of this month the first crop of 2013 college graduates will be turning their tassels and preparing to head off to the world of work. Or, some may stay on in pursuit of an advanced degree, with plans to return to their studies once the summer has ended.

Class of 2013

Brigham Young University is one of several schools that will hold graduation ceremonies this month, with commencement exercises scheduled for April 25. Pepperdine University will recognize its graduates on April 27 with Eastern Michigan’s ceremony taking place on April 28. The following list features some of the earlier commencement exercises planned for this spring and the individuals chosen to address the class of 2013.

1. Southern Virginia University — Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney will take to the podium at this Buena Vista, Va. university to address the class of 2013. SVU will hold its ceremony on April 27 and will offer the former Massachusetts governor and current business leader an honorary doctorate. The governor has also been credited with rescuing the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics from certain ruin.

2. University of Cincinnati — Sandra Heimann started her career as an assistant secretary with American Financial Corporation, eventually rising to vice president of the American Financial Group. Her career, launched in 1961, began when women did not hold high executive positions. From 2003 to 2012 she served on UC’s Board of Trustees including two years as chairperson for her last two years. Mrs. Heimann is a philanthropist and supporter of many Cincinnati nonprofit organizations.

3. Central Michigan University — On May 4, CMU graduates will hear Domino’s Pizza president and CEO Patrick Doyle, chosen as the lead speaker for the university’s commencement ceremony. Doyle started out as Domino’s senior vice president of marketing before assuming his current position. The company has rebranded itself and has enjoyed record growth and profits in recent years.

4. University of Michigan — If you send out a “tweet” during Michigan’s commencement ceremony on May 5, chances are the speaker won’t mind. In fact, he may simply send a tweet back. Michigan has tapped Twitter CEO and U-M alumnus Dick Costolo to address this year’s class. Twitter emerged on the scene in 2006 and seven years later micro-blogging has taken the world by storm. The company claims more than 500 million registered users worldwide, second only to Facebook.

5. Liberty University — This Virginia university will hold its commencement exercises on May 11 and will tap one of its own graduates as its speaker. Fox News’ Shannon DuPuy Bream has been chosen for the university’s 40th commencement and will become the first woman to address a Liberty graduating class. Mrs. Bream is the news channels’ Supreme Court reporter and also part of the “America’s News Headquarters” team.

6. Howard University — Former US president Bill Clinton has been tapped to speak to Howard University graduates on May 11. Since leaving office in 2001, Clinton established the William J. Clinton Foundation, with its mission to meet various economic, social and environmental needs around the globe. He is actively involved as a special UN envoy to Haiti, helping that impoverished Caribbean nation continue its recovery from a devastating 2010 earthquake.

Commencement Speakers

Not every planned commencement speaker is well received by the graduating class. Dr. Ben Carson has faced some headwinds since Johns Hopkins University announced that he would speak, but his appearance at the Baltimore institution is on for now. At Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, Robert Zoellick, a 1975 alumnus canceled after criticism about his World Bank tenure surfaced and spread online. Rather than to take away from the grads special day, Zoellick withdrew. A new speaker has yet to be announced.


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Categories: Campus News