Here are some of the Notable Salutatorians and Valedictorians from High Schools and Colleges. This list highlights numerous successful professionals, such as First Lady Michelle Obama, Jimmy Carter, Albert Einstein, Carrie Underwood and Hillary Rodham Clinton. The top graduate with higher grades is referred to as Valedictorian, whereas the honor of becoming a Salutatorian requires the highest overall GPA as well as the mastery on effective public speaking, excellent language skills and strength in extracurricular activities. Princeton University chooses a "Latin Salutatorian" based on the ability to write and deliver a speech to the audience in that language. The title "Salutatorian" comes from the salutatorian's traditional role as the first speaker at the graduation ceremony, delivering the salutatory speech.The Valedictorian usually delivers the "valedictory" address (i.e. bidding farewell and good bye) while the Salutatorian delivers the "salutatory" address (i.e. expressing welcome to the new world) to fellow students, teachers and families in the audience.
Albert Einstein Dec. at 76 (1879-1955)
Salutatorian from High School.
Alicia Keys age 38
Valedictorian from Professional Performing Arts School, NY, Class of 1997.
Carrie Underwood age 35
Salutatorian from Checotah High School, OK, Class of 2001.
Cindy Crawford age 53
Valedictorian from DeKalb High School, IL, Class of 1984.
Michelle Obama age 55
Salutatorian from Whitney Young High School, IL, Class of 1981.
Hillary Clinton age 71
Valedictorian from Wellesley College, MA, Class of 1969.
Empress Michiko age 84
Valedictorian from Seishin High School, Japan.
Jimmy Carter age 94
Salutatorian from Plains High School, GA, Class of 1942.
John F. Kennedy Dec. at 46 (1917-1963)
Salutatorian from High School, Class of 1935.
John Wayne Dec. at 72 (1907-1979)
Salutatorian from Glendale High School, CA.
Jacki R. Chan age 38
Salutatorian from Westmoor High School, CA, Class of 1998.
Johnny Bench age 71
Valedictorian from Binger High School, Class of 1965.
Jennifer & Jenesis Gallego
Valedictorian & Salutatorian from Peekskill High School, NY. Class of 2012.
Jodie Foster age 56
Valedictorian from Lycee Francais de Los Angels, CA, Class of 1980.
"Weird Al" Yankovic age 59
Valedictorian from High School.
Robin Roberts age 62
Salutatorian from Pass Christian High School, MI, Class of 1979.
Aravind Adiga age 44
Salutatorian from Columbia College, NY, Class of 1997.
Connie Francis age 77
Salutatorian from Belleville High School, NJ, Class of 1955.
Walter O'Malley Dec. at 76 (1903-1979)
Salutatorian from University of Pennsylvania, Class of 1926.
Kate Beckinsale age 45
Salutatorian from High School.
W.E.B. Du Bois Dec. at 95 (1868-1963)
Valedictorian from Great Barrington High School, Class of 1884.
Salutatorian from Wakulla High School, FL, Class of 2008.
Norris Cole age 30
Salutatorian from Dunbar High School, Dayton, OH, Class of 2007.
Sondra Locke age 74
Valedictorian from Shelbyville Central High School, TN, Class of 1962.
Dr. Seuss Dec. at 87 (1904-1991)
Valedictorian from High School, Class of 1922.