Commencement speakers

University of Michigan students displeased there's no graduation speaker

Some students at the University of Michigan are unhappy that the administration is eschewing tradition by not booking a central graduation speaker, instead focusing on the institution's bicentennial.


Notre Dame, known for commencement speeches by new presidents, invites Pence

University typically invites first-year presidents to give commencement address. Amid debate over whether to invite current president, vice president gets the nod, with praise for his “reserved dignity.”


Bradley University forgoes guest commencement speakers

Bradley U announces it will no longer have outside commencement speakers. Leaders hope to avoid controversy, cut costs and keep everyone awake.


Colleges stay away from controversy with this year's commencement speakers

Colleges whose commencement speaker picks drew protests last year have opted to invite less controversial figures for this year's ceremonies.


Matthew McConaughey's pricey commencement speaker fee 'not out of the norm'

News of what the University of Houston will pay the actor Matthew McConaughey renews the debate about the expense of celebrities at graduation.


Substitute commencement speakers say everyone lose out in protests

Stepping into the breach for college commencement speakers sidelined by protests, retired university leaders defend importance of debate -- and one calls protesters "immature" and "arrogant."


Quincy College Graduates Each Receive $1,000 Gift

Quincy College students received two envelopes at their commencement ceremony Friday. One envelope read “gift” and contained $500 for each student; the other envelope read “give” and held $500 for each student to gift to others.

The funds came from commencement speaker Robert Hale, CEO of Granite Telecommunications and owner of the development company Foxrock Properties, WCVB-TV reported. Gifts went out to the 490 graduates, according to the Associated Press.

“The second envelope … is for you to give to another friend, family member or an organization who, in these times, is struggling who could use that a little more than you,” Hale said during his speech.

He told the new graduates of the Massachusetts community college that he wanted to give them an opportunity to reward themselves after a difficult year but also a chance to give to those especially hard-hit by the pandemic.

“You have persevered in the pandemic, and you haven't had a chance to celebrate the last 14 months, like you should,” he said. “And you have seen society and the needs of society grow. We wanted to try to address both of those areas.”

This isn’t the first time Hale has made a sizable donation to a college, The Boston Globe reported. Last month, he and his wife, Karen Hale, gave $30 million to Connecticut College, his alma mater, to bolster athletic programs and financial aid and improve campus infrastructure.

Hale described the joy he takes in giving.

“I hope that today you get to start sharing that joy,” he said.

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Colleges announce commencement speakers

  • Frostburg State University: Ricky Arnold, the astronaut.
  • Harper College, in Illinois: Martha Kanter, executive director of the College Promise Campaign.
  • Merrimack College: Jeff Selingo, the author and journalist.
  • Providence College: Steve Pemberton, chief human resources officer at Workhuman.
  • University of Dubuque: Mark Ward, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty.

Colleges announce commencement speakers

  • Agnes Scott College: Jordan Casteel, the artist.
  • Beloit College: Ruth Hamilton, a lawyer at the Criminal Defense Practice at the Bronx Defenders.
  • Grinnell College: Amy Tan, the author.
  • Kalamazoo College: Ken Elzinga, the Robert C. Taylor Professor of Economics at the University of Virginia.

Colleges announce commencement speakers

  • Bloomfield College: Ras J. Baraka, the mayor of Newark, N.J.; and Margaret H. Marshall, the chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.


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