May and June are commencement season at the nation’s colleges and universities, and the Class of 2007 is most likely to be addressed by someone from the realms of politics, government and entertainment.
President Bush, Bill and Hilary Rodham Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow and Defense Secretary Robert Gates are in in high demand.
President Clinton will give the address at Harvard University’s June 7 ceremonies, along with Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Snow will speak at Catholic University of American’s graduation on May 12.
“There are a lot of reasons why schools probably seek politicians,” says Nicole Crowder, a prospective Towson University graduate. “I think that they want people with clear, undeniable achievements and also speakers that are experienced orators.”
Celebrities from movies and television also get dressed in caps and gowns.
Oprah Winfrey will deliver her second ever commencement address to Howard University on May 12. Bill Cosby is slated to speak at Carnegie Mellon’s on May 20.
As more universities announce commencement plans, prospective graduates are becoming excited and anxious for the ceremonies.
“I can’t wait,” says prospective Howard University graduate Michael Arceneaux. “I was excited to graduate but when I found out it was Oprah it made the event that much more special.”
While schools continue to announce speakers daily-among the latest announcements is that Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, will give the address at Seton Hall’s ceremony on May 7– some prefer to keep speakers a secret.
Kristin Carr, a graduating third-year law student at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law will probably not know who her commencement speaker will be until the actual ceremony on May 19.
“In the past, speakers have been kept a secret until the hooding ceremony” says Carr.