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Past Commencement Speakers

RECENT

2023

Rev. Dr. Daisy L. Machado: Historian, Author, and Renowned Minister to the Latinx Community

2023

Dr. Liana Piehler G’01: Drew Affiliate Professor of English and Arts & Letters Program Faculty Member

2023

Camille A. Brown: Tony Award Nominated Director and Choreographer

2022

Dr. Luis Jódar, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Pfizer Vaccines

2022

Rev. Dr. Janet L. Wolf, Author and Member of the Executive/National Steering Committee of the Inside Out Prison Exchange Program

2022

Dr. Kimani Paul-Emile, Professor of Law, Associate Director, and Head of Domestic Programs and Initiatives at Fordham Law School’s Center on Race, Law & Justice, and faculty co-director of the Fordham Law School Stein Center for Law & Ethics

2020/2021

The Reverend Dr. Calvin O. Butts III T’82

2019

Christine Todd Whitman, Former Governor of New Jersey

2018

John Leguizamo, Actor, Comedian and Activist

2018

Mallory Mortillaro C’13, G’15, Sesquicentennial Speaker

2017

The Rev. Dr. William Barber II T’03, Sesquicentennial Speaker

2017

Julia Wolfe, MacArthur Fellow, Pulitzer Prize–Winner in Music

2016

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Basketball Legend, Activist, Author

2015

Rob Franek C’93, Senior Vice President/Publisher, The Princeton Review

2014

Vivian A. Bull, President, Drew University

2013

Frank Occhiogrosso, Professor of English

2012

The Honorable Barry T. Albin, Associate Justice, New Jersey Supreme Court

2011

Shirley Ann Jackson, President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

2010

Michael Lewis, Author

2000s

2009

Gerald Stern, Poet

2008

Cory Booker, Mayor of the City of Newark, New Jersey

2007

Richard Codey, President New Jersey Senate

2006

Candy Crowley, Senior Political Correspondent, CNN

2005

Thomas H. Kean, President of Drew University

2004

Shirley Tilghman, President of Princeton University

2003

James E. McGreevey, Governor of New Jersey

2002

Bill Cosby, Actor (degree rescinded)

2001

Richard Holbrooke, Former Ambassador to U.N.

2000

Bill Richardson, U.S. Secretary of Energy

1990s

1999

Christopher Reeve, Actor

1998

James Earl Jones, Actor

1997

Christine Todd Whitman, Governor of New Jersey

1996

First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton

1995

Andrew Shue, Do Something

1995

Wendy Kopp, Teach for America

1994

Mario Cuomo

1993

Olympia Dukakis, Actress

1992

David Halberstam, Author

1991

Thomas Pickering, U.N. Ambassador

1990

George Romney, Former Governor of Michigan

1980s

1989

Arno Penzias

1988

Rosalyn Yalow

1987

John Amos, Actor

1986

Richard Reeves, Journalist

1985

Bill Bradley, U.S. senator

1984

John Brademas, President of NYU

1983

Marie L. Garibaldi, New Jersey Supreme Court Justice

1982

Thomas H. Kean, Governor of New Jersey

1981

Dr. William O. Baker, Chairman (ret) Bell Laboratories

1980

Eudora Welty, Novelist, Pulitzer Prize Winner

1970s

1979

Alan Alda, Actor

1978

Jean Rey, Ministre d’Etat of Belgium

1977

Jennifer E. Beaver ’77, representing all of the schools

1976

Millicent Fenwick, Congresswoman, Fifth District of New Jersey

1975

Kenneth E. Grebenstein, SGA President, representing all schools

1974

Terry Sanford, President of Duke University

1973

William Pearson Tolley, Chancellor Emeritus, Syracuse University

1972

Otto Klineberg, Director of the International Center for Intergroup Relations

1971

James E. Cheek, President of Howard University

1970

William R. Keast, President of Wayne State Universitiy

1960s

1969

Louis T. Benezet, President of Claremont University Center

1968

Sharvy G. Umbeck, Chair of the American Council on Education

1967

Erwin D. Canham, Editor in Chief, Christian Science Monitor

1966

Harry D. Gideonse, President Brooklyn College, CUNY

1965

Harrison E. Salisbury, Assistant Managing Editor, New York Times

1964

Robert Fisher Oxnam, President of Drew University

1963

Robert Fisher Oxnam, President of Drew University

1962

Robert Fisher Oxnam, President of Drew University

1961

Robert Fisher Oxnam, President of Drew University

1960

Hugh L. Dryden, Deputy Administrator, NASA

1950s

1959

Fred G. Holloway, President of Drew University

1958

Charles C. Parlin

1957

C. Douglas Dillon, Deputy Under Secretary of State

1956

Fred G. Holloway, President of Drew University

1955

Fred G. Holloway, President of Drew University

1954

Fred G. Holloway, President of Drew University

1953

Fred G. Holloway, President of Drew University

1952

Fred G. Holloway, President of Drew University

1951

Arolo Ayres Brown, President Emeritus, Drew University

1950

The Rev. Donald B. Aldrich, Dean of the Chapel, Princeton University

Past Honorary Degree Recipients

2023

Rev. Dr. Daisy L. Machado (DTS), Dr. Liana Piehler G’01 (CSGS), Camille A. Brown (CLA), Harold Gary (CLA)

2022

Dr. Luis Jódar, Rev. Dr. Janet L. Wolf, Dr. Kimani Paul-Emile

2020/2021

Yamiche Alcindor
The Rev. Alfred T. Day III

2019

Dean T. Criares C’85

Karen Oliveto C’80, G’91,’02

2018

Arnold L. Demain, Steven Gilbert

2017

William Barber II T’03, Julia Wolfe

2016

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, William C. Campbell, Robert Ready

2015

Rob Franek C’93, Bob Conley

2014

In Hwan Kim, Hugh A. D’Andrade

2013

Hedy Brasch, Edward W. Poitras

2012

Barry T. Albin, Barbara Morris Caspersen, Edmund D. Pellegrino, Wilbert Mitchell

2011

Maxine Clarke Beach, Clarence B. Jones, Joan C. Verplanck, Shirley Ann Jackson

2010

John Shelby Spong, Judy Shepard, Arturo A. Valenzuela, Michael Lewis

2009

Gerald Stern, Arnold Demain, Nina Wells

2008

Cory Booker, David Grant, Mary Sue Sweeney Price, Joseph Blotner

2007

Richard J. Codey, Ernest S. Lyght, Eugene M. Lang, Jean B. Gazarian

2006

Kevin Murphy, Susan M. Morrison

2005

Bonnie Monte, Victor Parsonnet

2004

Shirley M. Tilghman, Clement Price, Roger H. Martin, Rodney Frelinghuysen

2003

James E. McGreevey, Vivian A. Bull, Sol Gittleman, Larry Shinn

2002

William H. Cosby Jr. (degree rescinded), Raymond A. Brown, Deborah T. Poritz, Warren J. Sinsheimer

2001

Richard Holbrooke, Pita John Ala’ilima, Heath B. McLendon, James H. Pain

2000

Bill Richardson, Barbara Bell Coleman, Michele K. Guhl

1999

Christopher Reeve, Helen C. Fenske, Lawrence Horner

1998

James Earl Jones, Herman A. Estrin, Melville D. Miller

1997

Christine Todd Whitman, Fred M. Kirby II, DeForest Soaries

1996

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Alfredo Martinez Moreno, Nancy Schaenen

1995

Andrew Shue, Wendy Kopp, Robert C. Woolley, Dorothy Young

1994

Mario Cuomo, Donald Payne, George Eberhardt

1993

Olympia Dukakis, Jeffrey Smith, Hae-Jong Kim, Ruth Churchill

1992

David Halberstam, Robert Luciano, Althea Gibson, Rand Castile

1991

Thomas R. Pickering, Sharpe James, Albert Baez, Kathleen Di Chiara

1990

George Romney, Raymond Chambers, Mary Smith, John Henry Kruse

1989

Thomas H. Denman, Grace Murray Hopper, Arno A. Penzias

1988

George DeStevens, George G. Reader, Leonard J. Soucy Jr., Rosalyn S. Yalow

1987

John Allen Amos Jr., Horton Foote, Jerome Hines

1986

Richard Reeves, Richard Walker

1985

Bill Bradley, Bruce Ritter, William James, George Kelsey

1984

John Brademas, Saul Cooperman, Barent Johnson

1983

Marie L. Garibaldi, Sam Jaffe, Bettye Ackerman, Lewis Thomas

1982

Thomas H. Kean, Albert W. Merck, Robert W. Edgar, William H. Gray III, Vartan Gregorian

1981

William O. Baker, Tai-Young Lee

1980

Eudora Welty

1979

Alan Alda

1978

Ruth Cameron Webb, Jean Rey

1977

Alexander L. Boraine, Maud Keister Jensen, Robert Fillen Smith, Manas Buthelezi

1976

Millicent Fenwick, John T. Cunningham

1975

John Lewis Pepin

1974

Allan H. Gilbert, Terry Sanford

1972

Owen Barfield, Otto Klineberg, Prince Albert Taylor Jr.

1971

James Edward Cheek, John Edward Horner, Luigi G. Ligutti, William Paul Stillman, Ignatius Yacob, III

1970

Frank Lusk Babbott, Peter Randolph Jennings