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Spring Commencement 2013: Celebrity Graduation Speakers

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It might seem like you picked your New Year’s resolutions mere weeks ago, but time flies when you’re having fun—and when the Real World is looming after college graduation. Finally receiving that hard-earned degree in front of family and friends should be the event’s highlight, but it’s the commencement speakers who often take center stage, both literally and figuratively.

Alumni at some schools forget who spoke soon after the ceremony is over, but the class of 2013 graduates at these colleges and universities will probably remember their A-list commencement speakers for the rest of their lives:

1. President Barack Obama will be delivering commencement speeches at not one but three universities this spring: the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, The Ohio State University in Columbus, and Morehouse College in Atlanta, reports The Washington Post.

2. Vice President Joe Biden, who also happens to be the father of two University of Pennsylvania graduates and the grandfather of a current Penn student, will be speaking at the Ivy League school’s 257th commencement ceremony.

3. Former President Bill Clinton, the first Democratic president in six decades to be re-elected for a second term, will be delivering the 2013 commencement address at Howard University, a historically black university (HBCU) in Washington, DC.

4. Toni Morrison, esteemed author and Pulitzer Prize winner, will be speaking to graduates and their families at the Vanderbilt University commencement ceremony in Nashville, TN.

5. Oprah Winfrey, former talk show host and media mogul extraordinaire, will be giving the principal commencement address at Harvard University’s 362nd commencement ceremony this spring.

6. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama; the spiritual leader of Tibet who is universally known and admired for his commitments to basic human values and happiness, kindness, inner harmony, and the welfare of the Tibetan people; will address graduates at Tulane University’s 2013 commencement ceremony.

7. Stephen Colbert, the best-selling author who is best known as host, co-writer and executive producer of Comedy Central’s award-winning “The Colbert Report” will serve as the keynote speaker at the University of Virginia graduation exercises.

8. Steve “Woz” Wozniak, co-founder of Apple and inventor of the Apple I and Apple II computers in the 1970s, will address the graduating class of 2013 at his alma mater, UC Berkeley.

9. Annie Lennox, the Scottish-born singer/songwriter known for her long list of award-winning international hits as well as her humanitarian work with UNAIDS, Amnesty International and other philanthropic organizations, will receive an honorary degree and address Berklee College of Music graduates and their families.

10. Arianna Huffington, founder and editor-and-chief of news website The Huffington Post, will be the graduation speaker at Smith College’s 135th commencement ceremony.

Related Posts:

Inspirational Advice for College Graduates: Famous Commencement Speakers

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Melissa Rhone+

Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.


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