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Commencement

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

History

Past Speakers

December 2013

Kevin Guskiewicz

December 2013 Graduation Program

May 2013

Steve Case

May 2013 Graduation Program

December 2012

Dr. Myron Cohen

May 2012

Michael Bloomberg

December 2011

Dr. Barbara Frederickson

May 2011

Dr. Edward O. Wilson

December 2010

Professor Geoff Sayre-McCord

May 2010

John Grisham

December 2009

Dr. Lisa Carey

May 2009

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

December 2008

Valerie Ashby, Professor of Chemistry, UNC

May 2008

Jessye Norman

December 2007

Hodding Carter III

May 2007

Madeline Korbel Albright

December 2006

Holden Thorp, Professor of Chemistry at UNC

May 2006

Wendy Kopp, Founder of Teach for America

December 2005

Etta Pisano, UNC School of Medicine

May 2005

Peter Gomes, Harvard Divinity School

December 2004

George Lensing, Professor of English, UNC

May 2004

Julius Chambers

December 2003

Michael H. Hunt

May 2003

Bill Cosby

December 2002

James Leloudis

May 2002

John Edwards

December 2001

Trudier Harris-Lopez

May 2001

Stuart Scott

December 2000

Peter Kaufman

May 2000

Stuart E. Eizenstat

December 1999

Bland Simpson

May 1999

Bill Bradley

December 1998

James Peacock

May 1998

Marian Wright Edelman

December 1997

John Shelton Reed

May 1997

Erskine Bowles

December 1996

Michael Eric Dyson

May 1996

Seamus Heaney

December 1995

James Ketch

May 1995

Johnetta B. Cole

December 1994

Jane D. Brown

May 1994

Francis Sellers Collins

December 1993

Richard McCormick

May 1993

Ted Turner

December 1992

Ruel W. Tyson Jr.

May 1992

David Brinkley

December 1991

Paul Hardin

May 1991

L. Douglas Wilder

May 1990

Hugh L. McColl Jr.

December 1989

Richard J. Richardson

May 1989

Roger Mudd

May 1988

Dale Bumpers

May 1987

Peter V. Ueberroth

May 1986

Jim Martin

May 1985

Charles Kuralt

1984

William E. Leuchtenburg

1983

No Speaker Remarks by several individuals – senior class president, faculty member, president of the UNC System – but no “speaker”

1982

No Speaker Remarks by several individuals – senior class president, faculty member, president of the UNC System – but no “speaker”

1981

No Speaker Remarks by several individuals – senior class president, faculty member, president of the UNC System – but no “speaker”

1980

No Speaker Remarks by several individuals – senior class president, faculty member, president of the UNC System – but no “speaker”

1979

No Speaker Remarks by several individuals – senior class president, faculty member, president of the UNC System – but no “speaker”

1978

James B. Hunt, Governor of NC

1977

Edward Morris Bernstein, President of EMB (Ltd.) Research Economists

1976

James William Fulbright, Former US Senator from Arkansas

1975

John T. Caldwell, Chancellor of North Carolina State University at Raleigh

1974

James E. Holshouser, Jr., Governor of NC

1973

Juanita Morris Kreps

1972

Elizabeth D. Koontz, Director of the Women’s Bureau, US Department of Labor

1970

Clifton Daniel

1969

Dr. James A. Shannon, Special Adviser to President, National Academy of Sciences

1968

Albert Coates

1967

Gordon William Blackwell

1966

Frank Porter Graham

1965

Douglas Maitland Knight

1964

Terry Sanford

1963

August Heckscher

1963

Samuel Howard Miller

1962

Ralph Emerson McGill

1961

Lenoir Chambers

1960

Luther H. Hodges

1959

Vermont Royster

1958

Norman Cousins

1957

Robert B. House

1956

Barnaby Keeney, President, Brown University

1955

Carl Sandburg

1954

Dr. Andrew J. Warren, Rockefeller Foundation’s Division of Medical and Public Health

1953

Dr. Francis P. Gaines, President, Washington and Lee University

1952

W. Kerr Scott and /or Gordon Gray—no speaker??

1951

William Clyde DeVane, Dean of Yale College

1950

W. Kerr Scott and /or Gordon Gray??

1949

Frank Porter Graham

1948

James T. Cleland

1947

Frank Porter Graham

1946

Frank Porter Graham

1945

R. Gregg Cherry

1944

Frank Porter Graham

1943

Frank Porter Graham

1942

Raymond Gram Swing

1941

Carl Sandburg

1940

Dr. Douglas S. Freeman, Editor of the Richmond News-Leader

1939

John Temple Graves, II, editorial staff of the Birmingham Age-Herald

1938

John J. Parker

1937

Herbert Agar

1936

Dr. John W. Studebaker, US Commissioner of Education

1935

Eleanor Roosevelt

1934

Harry Lloyd Hopkins

1933

Gov. J. C. B. Ehringhaus ?

1932

Gov. O. Max Gardner

1931

Claude Gernade Bowers

1930

Dr. John H. Finley

1929

Sir Esme Howard

1928

William A. Guerry; Arthur W. Page, Vice-President of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company of New York

1927

Walter Lippmann, Editorial Staff, New York World

1926

Douglas Southall Freeman

1924

Chas. S. Hamlin

1921

Josephus Daniels

1920

Bainbridge Colby

1919

Franklin K. Lane

1918

Frederic C. Howe

1917

Newton D. Baker, Secretary of War

1916

William G. McAdoo, Secretary of the Treasury

1915

Judge A. Mitchell Palmer

1914

William C. Redfield, Secretary of Commerce

1913

Thomas R. Marshall, Vice-President of the US

1912

Edwin Alderman

1911

Woodrow Wilson

1910

Dr. Charles Foster Smith

1909

William Henry Welch, MD., LL.D., Professor of Pathology in Johns Hopkins University

1908

Judge Martin Augustus Knapp, Chairman of the Interstate Commerce Commission

1907

Andrew Fleming West, Dean of the Graduate School of Princeton

1906

Francis Preston Venable

1905

Henry Sherman Boutell

1904

John Huston Finley, President of the College of the City of New York

1903

William J. Holland Carnegie Museum

1902

Hilary A. Herbert, Secretary of the Navy

1901

J. H. Kirkland, Chancellor of Vanderbilt University

1900

G.T. Winston

1899

Nicholas Murray Butler

1898

Hon. Hannis Taylor, LL.D.

1897

Wilson, W.L.

1896

Adlai E. Stevenson

1894

Hoke Smith

1893

Robert Paine Dick

1892

J.W. Carter; Hon. Hannis Taylor addressed graduates

1891

Col. John M. Galloway before the societies

1888

Chief Justice Walter Clark before the societies

1887

Hon. John Goode before the societies

1886

Charles Henry Hall; Augustus Van Wyck before the societies

1885

James W. Reid before the societies

Right Reverend A. W. Wilson Commencement Day, sermon

1884

Col. Walter L. Steele before the societies

1883

Thomas Courtland Manning before the societies

1881

E. J. Mallett

Gen. M. W. Ransom

Gov. Thomas J. Jarvis

1870

Gen. J. C. Abbott

1869

William Blount Rodman

1868

The oration before the two Societies was by Hon. Thomas H. Seymour, late Governor of Connecticut. He was introduced most felicitously to the audience by Mr. Fabius H. Busbee, and gave a thoughtful and statesmanlike essay on “Government, its Origin and Forms, together with its Functions and Dangers.” was preached on Wednesday morning.

1867

Ex-Governor Henry A. Wise of Virginia had agreed to deliver the Address before the two Literary Societies, but was forced to recall his acceptance so late that a substitute could not be secured. Hence the Baccalaureate sermon was preached on Wednesday morning.

Andrew Johnson and William Seward (among others) were present at commencement.

1866

The address of ex-Governor Z. B. Vance was worthy of that distinguished man. It was the Annual Oration before the two Literary Societies, on “The Duties of Defeat.”

1865

The Address before the two Literary Societies was by Judge William H. Battle, LL.D., Class of 1820.

1864

Rev. Dr. Charles F. Deems preached the Baccalaureate sermon. It was an exhortation to the Seniors, and to all his hearers, to cultivate always and everywhere love to God.

No speaker mentioned.

1863

President Swain, as Orator before the Literary Societies, gave a series of Geographical and Historical parallels between North Carolina and the world at large, and then with Great Britain and other countries.

1862

Hon. Wm. B. Rodman had been invited to deliver the Address before the two Societies, and agreed to do so. He was necessarily prevented, and Rev. Dr. Hubbard, Professor of Latin, ably filled his place.

1861

General Thomas L. Clingman had agreed to deliver the address before the two Societies, but was detained by unavoidable military duty. There were no Historical or Alumni addresses. But President Swain had determined that the exercises of the University should not be suspended by war or preparations for war.

1860

John Hughes

1860

The Annual Address before the Literary Societies was by John Pool, Esq., of the Class of 1847, of the Philanthropic Society, then candidate for Governor on the nomination of the Constitutional-Union Party, which was the heir of the old Whig party.

Archbishop Hughes delivered the baccalaureate sermon

1859

On Wednesday forenoon the address before the two Literary Societies was delivered by Hon. Duncan K. MacRae, a University student in 1837, lately Consul to Paris, and afterwards a Colonel in the Confederate service.

1858

William Carey Dowd

1858

On Wednesday forenoon Rev. Dr. John Thomas Wheat, of the Philanthropic Society, delivered the Annual Address

1857

On Wednesday Henry Watkins Miller, a distinguished orator, and eminent lawyer of Raleigh, a graduate of 1834, delivered the annual oration.

1856

Basil Manly Jr.

1856

The Annual Address on Wednesday was by Hon. Matt W. Ransom, of the Philanthropic Society, a graduate of the Class of 1847.

1855

B.M. Palmer

1855

On Wednesday there were three extraordinary addresses. The first was by Hon. George Davis…after him came Bishop Thomas Atkinson, of the Protestant Episcopal Church…The third address was by Mr. Wm. J. Bingham, of the Class of 1825

1854

Aaron V. Brown, of Tennessee Literary Address

1853

Dr. James H. Dickson

1852

Hon. Thomas Samuel Ashe

1851

At the Commencement of 1851 the new Professor of Rhetoric and Logic, Rev. Dr. John Thomas Wheat, preached the sermon to the Graduating Class. It was highly praised. Rev. Dr. Forbyce M. Hubbard before the Historical Society read a valuable paper on the Historians of North Carolina, and in lieu of the address before the Alumni, President Swain spoke on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution.

1850

Wm. Waightstill Avery “annual address” at the commencement

1841

James C. Bruce

1840

D.M. Barringer

1827

Joseph Caldwell

1802

Joseph Caldwell