This list of notable commencement speakers for colleges in 2012 includes some incredibly prestigious individuals. In 2012, students at colleges all over the U.S. were fortunate enough to hear commencement addresses from politicians, heads of state, successful businessmen from many different industries, journalists and actors/actresses.
Among the most distinguished 2012 commencement speakers: President Barack Obama, who addressed students at Barnard College and the U.S. Air Force Academy. First Lady Michelle Obama was also quite busy during the graduation season, addressing graduating classes at Virginia Tech, North Carolina A&T and Oregon State University, among others. Joe Biden gave the commencement address at the USMA, West Point, in 2012 (his wife, Jill, spoke to Broward College's graduating class as well), and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney spoke at the Liberty University graduation ceremonies.
Journalists are often a popular choice as commencement speakers, and in 2012, those giving commencement addresses included Katie Couric (University of Virginia), Tom Brokaw (Vanderbilt University), Christiane Amanpour (University of Southern California), Brian Williams (George Washington University) and Bob Woodruff (Boston College).Actors and actresses who were commencement speakers included Steve Carell (Princeton University), Jane Lynch (Smith College) and Robert De Niro (Bates College). Oprah Winfrey addressed graduates at Spelman College, and Aaron Sorkin gave the commencement address at Syracuse University in 2012. And former Saturday Night Live cast member Andy Samberg delivered the commencement speech at Harvard University.