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politics & history Notable Commencement Speakers 2012

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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.

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Barack Obama is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Barack Obama Barnard College, U.S. Air Force Academy

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Aaron Sorkin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Aaron Sorkin Syracuse University

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Katie Couric is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Katie Couric University of Virginia

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Tom Brokaw is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Tom Brokaw Vanderbilt University, Arizona State University

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Colin Powell is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Colin Powell Northeastern University

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Cameron Munter is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Cameron Munter Pomona College

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Jim Lehrer is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Jim Lehrer William & Mary

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Brian Williams is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Brian Williams George Washington University

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Michele Bachmann is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Michele Bachmann Regent University

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Adam Savage is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Adam Savage Sarah Lawrence College

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Jane Lynch is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Jane Lynch Smith College

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Cokie Roberts is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Cokie Roberts University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Ted Koppel is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Ted Koppel University of Massachusetts

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Debbie Stabenow is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Debbie Stabenow Alma College

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Bill McKibben is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Bill McKibben Claremont School of Theology

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Bruce Bastian is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Bruce Bastian Westminster College

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Bill Strickland is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Bill Strickland Middebury College

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John Brennan is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
John Brennan Fordham University

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J.R. Martinez is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
J.R. Martinez Clark College

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Michael Lewis is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Michael Lewis Princeton

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Jane Lubchenco is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Jane Lubchenco University of Puget Sound

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Gwen Ifill is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Gwen Ifill Holy Names University

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Fareed Zakaria is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Fareed Zakaria Duke University, Harvard University

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Cory Booker is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Cory Booker Stanford University, Hampton University

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Greg Boyle is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Greg Boyle Loyola University Maryland

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Michael Bloomberg is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Michael Bloomberg University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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John Kerry is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
John Kerry Mount Ida College

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Leymah Gbowee is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Leymah Gbowee Vassar College

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Kevin White is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Kevin White Loras College

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A.G. Lafley is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
A.G. Lafley Hamilton College

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Nancy S. Grasmick is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Nancy S. Grasmick McDaniel College

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Chris Gardner is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012

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Howard G. Sutton II is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Howard G. Sutton II Salve Regina University

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H. Carl McCall is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
H. Carl McCall State University of New York at Delhi

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Christopher M Connor is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Christopher M Connor Baldwin-Wallace College

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J. Eustace Wolfington is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
J. Eustace Wolfington Cabrini College

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Joseph J. Plumeri is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Joseph J. Plumeri Iona College

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Albert P. Carey is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Albert P. Carey Lehman College of the City University of New York

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Joan Mussa is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Joan Mussa Malone University

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Joia Mukherjee is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Joia Mukherjee MGH Institute of Health Professions

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Vivian Pinn is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Vivian Pinn Sweet Briar College

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Linda Cohn is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Linda Cohn Three Rivers College

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Elie Wiesel is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Elie Wiesel Wagner College

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Josiah Bunting III is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Josiah Bunting III Randolph College

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Wang Shu is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Wang Shu Rhode Island School of Design

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Teresa A. Sullivan is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Teresa A. Sullivan Southwestern University in Texas

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Sonia Picado Sotela is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Sonia Picado Sotela St. Edward's University

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Carol Geary Schneider is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Carol Geary Schneider Ursinus College

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Eric Schmidt is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Eric Schmidt University of California, Berkeley and Boston University

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Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Notable Commencement Speakers 2012
Neil Gaiman University of the Arts