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Notable Salutatorians and Valedictorians.

Updated November 8, 2018 162.9k views45 items

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 Einstein1

    Albert Einstein

    Dec. at 76 (1879-1955)

    BirthplaceUlm, Germany

    Salutatorian from High School.
  • Alicia Keys2

    BirthplaceHell's Kitchen, New York City, New York, United States of America

    Valedictorian from Professional Performing Arts School, NY, Class of 1997.
  • Carrie Underwood3

    BirthplaceMuskogee, Oklahoma, United States of America

    Salutatorian from Checotah High School, OK, Class of 2001.
  • Cindy Crawford4

    BirthplaceDeKalb, Illinois, United States of America

    Valedictorian from DeKalb High School, IL, Class of 1984.
  • Michelle Obama5

    BirthplaceChicago, Illinois, USA

    Salutatorian from Whitney Young High School, IL, Class of 1981.
  • Hillary Clinton6

    BirthplaceChicago, Illinois, United States of America

    Valedictorian from Wellesley College, MA, Class of 1969.
  • Empress Michiko7

    BirthplaceTokyo, Japan

    Valedictorian from Seishin High School, Japan.
  • Jimmy Carter8

    BirthplacePlains, Georgia, United States of America

    Salutatorian from Plains High School, GA, Class of 1942.
  • John F. Kennedy9

    John F. Kennedy

    Dec. at 46 (1917-1963)

    BirthplaceBrookline, Massachusetts, USA

    Salutatorian from High School, Class of 1935.
  • John Wayne10

    John Wayne

    Dec. at 72 (1907-1979)

    BirthplaceWinterset, Iowa, United States of America

    Salutatorian from Glendale High School, CA.
  • Jacki R. Chan11

    BirthplaceUSA, California, San Francisco

    Salutatorian from Westmoor High School, CA, Class of 1998.
  • Johnny Bench12

    BirthplaceOklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States of America

    Valedictorian from Binger High School, Class of 1965.
  • Jennifer & Jenesis Gallego13

    Jennifer & Jenesis Gallego

    Valedictorian & Salutatorian from Peekskill High School, NY. Class of 2012.
  • Jodie Foster14

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, United States of America

    Valedictorian from Lycee Francais de Los Angels, CA, Class of 1980.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic15

    BirthplaceUSA, Downey, California

    Valedictorian from High School.
  • Robin Roberts16

    BirthplaceAlabama, United States of America

    Salutatorian from Pass Christian High School, MI, Class of 1979.
  • Aravind Adiga17

    BirthplaceChennai, India

    Salutatorian from Columbia College, NY, Class of 1997.
  • Connie Francis18

    BirthplaceNewark, New Jersey, USA

    Salutatorian from Belleville High School, NJ, Class of 1955.
  • Walter O'Malley19

    Walter O'Malley

    Dec. at 76 (1903-1979)

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York

    Salutatorian from University of Pennsylvania, Class of 1926.
  • Kate Beckinsale20

    BirthplaceFinsbury Park, London, United Kingdom

    Salutatorian from High School.
  • W.E.B. Du Bois21

    W.E.B. Du Bois

    Dec. at 95 (1868-1963)

    BirthplaceGreat Barrington, Massachusetts

    Valedictorian from Great Barrington High School, Class of 1884.
  • Lizzie Butler22

    Lizzie Butler

    Salutatorian from Wakulla High School, FL, Class of 2008.
  • Norris Cole23

    BirthplaceDayton, Ohio

    Salutatorian from Dunbar High School, Dayton, OH, Class of 2007.
  • Sondra Locke24

    Sondra Locke

    Age: 76

    BirthplaceShelbyville, Tennessee, USA

    Valedictorian from Shelbyville Central High School, TN, Class of 1962.
  • Dr. Seuss25

    Dr. Seuss

    Dec. at 87 (1904-1991)

    BirthplaceSpringfield, Massachusetts

    Valedictorian from High School, Class of 1922.