Graduation season is still months away, but colleges are already locking in and announcing which big-name celebrity, politician, alum or wealthy donor will inspire, entertain or bore graduates as they prepare to head into the real world.
Here’s a running list of who will speak where (you can help me grow this list by leaving a comment below):
Barnard College: President Obama will speak at the independent liberal arts college for women on May 14. Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times, was previously booked for the gig, but she has agreed to speak at another time. (Obama’s decision to speak at Barnard — and not his alma mater, Columbia University, Barnard’s sibling school — has sparked a vicious online commenting war.)
George Washington University: Brian Williams , anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News and host of “Rock Center.”
College of William & Mary: Jim Lehrer, the longtime host of the “PBS NewsHour” and a frequent moderator of presidential debates.
University of Virginia: Katie Couric, a 1979 U-Va. graduate who is an “award-winning journalist and TV personality, well-known cancer advocate and New York Times best-selling author.”
Johns Hopkins University: Sam Palmisano , former IBM president and chief executive officer. Palmisano grew up in Baltimore, graduated from Johns Hopkins in 1973 and then started his career at IBM. He is currently chairman of IBM’s board and chair of its executive committee
University of Michigan: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a Michigan alumnus and CNN chief medical correspondent.
Assumption College: Brian Kelly, head football coach at Notre Dame University who attended Assumption, played linebacker on its club team and graduated in 1983.
Harvard University: Fareed Zakaria, journalist and author who is an editor-at-large at Time magazine.
Duke University: Also booked Zakaria.
Marymount University in Virginia: Chuck Hagel, former U.S. Senator from Nebraska.
McDaniel College in Maryland: Nancy S. Grasmick, Maryland's first female state superintendent of schools, and Edwin Welch, a 1965 alumnus and now president of the University of Charleston in West Virginia.
College of the Atlantic in Maine: Robert Krulwich, co-host of Radiolab and a correspondent for National Public Radio.
Again, you can help grow this list by leaving a comment below.
This post was updated in March 15 to include Duke, Marymount, McDaniel, Michigan, Virginia and College of the Atlantic.