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Commencement speaker watch

Jenna Johnson

It's that time of year when nearly every day there is a big announcement about which university snagged which big name speaker for graduation.

George Washington University will announce its speaker Monday: Foggy Bottom neighbor FLOTUS Michelle Obama.

Now, unlike a lot of commencement speakers, Obama made the university work for her appearance -- or, rather, volunteer for it. In September, she challenged the university community to complete 100,000 hours of service work before she would confirm the appearance.

I wrote a story for Monday's newspaper recounting how exactly the university tackled that challenge.

What other colleges and universities have booked celeb speakers? Continue reading for a long list. (And help me complete it. Shoot me an e-mail.)

University of Michigan: President Barack Obama (Michigan Daily article)

Hampton University: President Barack Obama (2010 grad page)

West Virginia University: President Bill Clinton (Press release)

New York University: 30 Rock's Jack Donaghy, I mean, Alec Baldwin (Washington Square article)

Vassar College: Actress Lisa Kudrow (Press release)

Barnard College: Actress Meryl Streep (Press release)

Tulane University: CNN's Anderson Cooper (Press release)

Emory University: California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (Press release)

Harvard: Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter (2010 grad page)

University of North Carolina: Author John Grisham (Daily Tar Heel article)

University of Notre Dame: "NBC Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams (Press release)

University of Maryland: Victoria Kennedy, wife of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (Diamondback article)

American University: First female president of Chile, three dedicated public servants, an entrepreneur and an Academy-Award winning filmmaker (Press release)

Washington University: U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu (Student Life article)

University of Oklahoma: Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin (OU Daily article)

State University of New York at Oswego: Feminist author and political activist Naomi Wolf (Press release)

Vanderbilt University: Khaled Hosseini, author of "The Kite Runner" and "A Thousand Splendid Suns" (Press release)

Cornell University: Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (Daily Sun article)

Hollins University: Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey (Press Release)

Dickinson College: Newsweek editor and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham.

Lehigh University: Author Eliezer "Elie" Wiesel (Press release)

University of California, Berkeley: Filmmaker Tiffany Shlain (Daily Cal article)

University of Texas at Austin Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs: Deputy Secretary of State James B. Steinberg (Press release)

UPDATED at 12:17 p.m. to include Notre Dame and UNC. And at 12:30 to include SUNY Oswego and Vanderbilt. And at 1:33 to include Cornell and Hollins. And at 3:03 to include West Virginia University. And at 4:25 to add Dickinson. And at 6:09 p.m. to add American.

UPDATED on April 8 to include Lehigh University and UC-Berkeley. And on April 21 to include the University of Texas at Austin.

Who is speaking at your graduation? Shoot me an e-mail, and I will add it to the list.


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By Jenna Johnson  |  April 5, 2010; 8:23 AM ET
Categories:  Real World  | Tags: Barnard, Emory, George Washington, Hampton, Harvard, NYU, Notre Dame, Tulane, University of Maryland, University of North Carolina, University of Oklahoma, Vassar, Washington University  
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Comments

I think it is great Michelle Obama made them "work" for it. I love that it got GW to step up and complete so many volunteer hours.

Posted by: JessicaSchmidt-Bonifant | April 7, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

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