Each spring, colleges around the country invite luminaries and public figures to speak to their graduating class. Here are this year’s most notable speakers:


The Dalai Lama, UC San Diego

The spiritual leader is expected to offer graduates advice about living untethered from earthly possessions, at least until the job market picks up a little

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Sheryl Sandberg, University of Virginia

Facebook’s COO will remind the class of 2017 that no matter where life’s journey might lead them, Facebook owns them

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Bernie Sanders, Brooklyn College

Sanders plans to drive home the point that all of this could have been free


Billie Jean King, Northwestern University

As a former tennis champion, King will provide insight about keeping your chin up in the face of a returned serve low to your left side

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Hillary Clinton, Wellesley College

Clinton is scheduled to speak to graduates of her alma mater, though critics are already condemning her for not scheduling more commencement speeches in Wisconsin

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Tim Cook, MIT

Apple’s CEO is expected to unveil a slightly smoother updated version of his GWU 2015 commencement speech

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Mike Pence, Notre Dame

Vice President Pence has agreed to speak under the condition that female graduates wear full-body mortarboards

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Steven Levitan, University Of Wisconsin

The Modern Family creator will talk openly about overcoming the struggles he faced as a member of the 18-34 demographic

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Barack Obama, Monsters University

In one of this year’s most anticipated speeches, the 44th president will address the nation’s scariest students

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Steven Van Zandt, Rutgers University

By speaking about his years as a guitarist in The E Street Band and cast member of The Sopranos, Van Zandt will inspire graduates with the absolute best case scenario for never getting out of New Jersey

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Oprah Winfrey, Skidmore College

She’s always good at this kind of shit

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