Virginia Tech commencement speakers

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Each year, Virginia Tech holds commencement ceremonies at the end of the academic year in May, as well as at the end of the Fall semester in December. Since 1990, a separate Graduate School Commencement Ceremony has been held to confer degrees to master's and doctoral students. Fall commencement is held in Cassell Coliseum, and Spring Commencement is held in Lane Stadium.

University Commencement Speakers[edit]

Academic Year Semester Speaker(s) Degrees Conferred
1958 - 59 Spring John N. Thomas, professor of systematic theology, Union Theological Seminary All
1959 - 60 Spring Albertis S. Harrison, attorney general, Commonwealth of Virginia All
1960 - 61 Spring John M. Devine, commandant of cadets, Virginia Tech All
1961 - 62 Spring Colgate W. Darden, former governor, Commonwealth of Virginia All
1962 - 63 Spring Mills E. Goodwin, lieutenant governor, Commonwealth of Virginia All
1963 - 64 Spring J. G. Farrar, president, Rockefeller Foundation All
1964 - 65 Spring Albertis S. Harrison, governor, Commonwealth of Virginia All
1965 - 66 Spring T. Marshall Hahn, president, Virginia Tech All
1966 - 67 Spring Mills E. Godwin, governor, Commonwealth of Virginia All
1967 - 68 Spring T. Marshall Hahn, president, Virginia Tech All
1968 - 69 Spring Warren W. Brandt, first president of Virginia Commonwealth University and former executive vice president, Virginia Tech All
1969 - 70 Spring T. Marshall Hahn, president, Virginia Tech All
1970 - 71 Spring Linwood Holton, governor, Commonwealth of Virginia All
1971 - 72 Spring David Brinkley, NBC news correspondent All
1972 - 73 Spring Bill Moyers, former press secretary to President L. B. Johnson All
1973 - 74 Spring G. Burke Johnston, C. P. Miles Professor of English, Virginia Tech All
1974 - 75 Spring Sam J. Ervin, former N.C. senator All
1975 - 76 Spring E. F. Shannon, former president, University of Virginia All
1976 - 77 Spring Milton Friedman, recipient of the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences All
1977 - 78 Spring John N. Dalton, governor, Commonwealth of Virginia All
1978 - 79 Spring Eric Sevareid, CBS News Correspondent All
1979 - 80 Spring Jean Harris, secretary of human resources, Commonwealth of Virginia All
1980 - 81 Spring William Edward Lavery, president, Virginia Tech All
1981 - 82 Spring Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., director, NASA Johnson Space Center and Virginia Tech alumnus All
1982 - 83 Spring Clifton C. Garvin, Jr., chairman of the board, Exxon Corp. (and Virginia Tech alumnus) All
1983 - 84 Spring Charles Robb, governor, Commonwealth of Virginia All
1984 - 85 Spring Alexander F. Giacco, rector, Virginia Tech Board of Visitors and chairman of the board, Hercules Inc. All
1985 - 86 Spring Neil Armstrong, astronaut, first person to step on the Moon All
1986 - 87 Spring Gerald Baliles, governor, Commonwealth of Virginia All
1987 - 88 Spring David Roselle, president, University of Kentucky All
1988 - 89 Spring Mary Sue Terry, attorney general, Commonwealth of Virginia All
1989 - 90 Spring L. Douglas Wilder, governor, Commonwealth of Virginia Undergraduate
1990 - 91 Fall Mark O. Hatfield, U.S. senator Undergraduate
Spring Sheikh Saud Nasir Al-Sabah, Kuwaiti ambassador to the US Undergraduate
1991 - 92 Fall W. Ann Reynolds, chancellor, City University of New York Undergraduate
Spring Jack Nelson, Washington Bureau chief, Los Angeles Times Undergraduate
1992 - 93 Fall Samuel D. Proctor, professor emeritus, Rutgers University and pastor emeritus, Abyssinian Baptist Church of New York Undergraduate
Spring John M. Ashworth, director, London School of Economics and Political Science Undergraduate
1993 - 94 Fall John Kelly, registrar (provost), University College Dublin (Ireland) Undergraduate
Spring George F. Allen, governor, Commonwealth of Virginia Undergraduate
1994 - 95 Fall Paul Antonie "Tony" Distler, Alumni Distinguished Professor and director of the Division of Performing Arts, Virginia Tech Undergraduate
Spring Beverly H. Sgro, secretary of education, Commonwealth of Virginia Undergraduate
1995 - 96 Fall James I. Robertson, Jr., Alumni Distinguished Professor of History, Virginia Tech Undergraduate
Spring John Wilson, retired president, Washington and Lee University Undergraduate
1996 - 97 Fall Lucinda Roy, Gloria D. Smith Professor of Black Studies, Virginia Tech Undergraduate
Spring Raymond J. Lane, president and chief operating officer, Oracle Corporation Undergraduate
1997 - 98 Fall Charles "Jack" Dudley, director, University Honors Program, Virginia Tech Undergraduate
Spring James S. Gilmore III, governor, Commonwealth of Virginia Undergraduate
1998 - 99 Fall James R. Craig, professor of geological sciences, Virginia Tech Undergraduate
Spring Eric Schmidt, chairman and chief executive officer, Novell Inc. Undergraduate
1999 - 2000 Fall Paul Torgersen, president, Virginia Tech, and John W. Hancock Jr., Chair of Engineering Undergraduate
Spring John Warner, senator, Commonwealth of Virginia Undergraduate
2000 - 01 Fall Arthur L. Buikema Jr., Alumni Distinguished Professor, Department of Biology, Virginia Tech Undergraduate
Spring Rick Boucher, congressman, U.S. House of Representatives Undergraduate
2001 - 02 Fall Dr. Charles J. Dudley, professor of sociology and director of the University Honors Program, Virginia Tech Undergraduate
Spring Mark Warner, governor, Commonwealth of Virginia Undergraduate
2002 - 03 Fall Dr. L.A. "Andy" Swiger, dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Virginia Tech Undergraduate
Spring Leroy Rountree Hassell Sr., chief justice, Virginia Supreme Court (spring) Undergraduate
2003 - 04 Fall Dr. Ezra A. "Bud" Brown, professor of mathematics, Virginia Tech Undergraduate
Spring Pierre Thomas, ABC News U.S. Justice Department correspondent and 1984 graduate of Virginia Tech Undergraduate
2004 - 05 Fall Dr. Diane Zahm, associate professor of urban affairs and planning in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Virginia Tech Undergraduate
Spring David Calhoun, president and CEO of GE Transportation Systems Undergraduate
2005 - 06 Fall Minnis E. Ridenour, former executive vice president and chief operating officer at Virginia Tech and Senior Fellow and director of the Office of Government and Non-Profit Organization Management, Virginia Tech Undergraduate
Spring Timothy M. Kaine, governor, Commonwealth of Virginia Undergraduate
2006 - 07 Fall Henry J. Dekker, retired founder and president of North American operations for French couturier Louis Feraud, and past member of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors Undergraduate
Spring General John Abizaid, U.S. Army (Ret.), former Commander of the United States Central Command Undergraduate
2007 - 08 Fall E. Scott Geller, Alumni Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for Applied Behavior Systems in the Department of Psychology in the College of Science Undergraduate
Spring Hoda Kotb, "Dateline NBC" correspondent, co-anchor of NBC's "Today" show, and 1986 Virginia Tech graduate Undergraduate
2008 - 09 Fall Undergraduate
Spring Gen. Lance Smith, former NATO supreme allied commander for transformation from 2005 to 2007.[1] Undergraduate
2009 - 10 Fall Undergraduate
Spring Bob McDonnell, governor, Commonwealth of Virginia [2] Undergraduate
2010 - 11 Fall Undergraduate
Spring Kenneth Feinberg, administrator of the 9/11 Victims Fund[3] Undergraduate
2011 - 12 Fall Undergraduate
Spring Michelle Obama and Senator Mark Warner Undergraduate
2012 - 13 Fall Undergraduate
Spring Charles Steger, VIrginia Tech President Undergraduate
2013 - 14 Fall Gerhardt Schurig, professor of biomedical sciences and pathobiology and former dean, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine[4] Undergraduate
Spring Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe Undergraduate
2014 - 15 Fall Undergraduate
Spring Eric Schmidt, Executive chairman, Google Undergraduate
2015 - 16 Fall Undergraduate
Spring Marc Edwards and Dr Mona Hanna-Attisha, Lead Researchers in the Flint Michigan Water Crisis Undergraduate
2016 - 17 Fall Undergraduate
Spring Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook Undergraduate

References[edit]