At a glance

Special Collections & University Archives

Commencement addresses

See also the Stanford Report for recent speeches. When available, links to online text and video of speeches are included.

# Year Speaker Occupation Date Title of Speech Full Text Video
1st 1892 Rev. Myron W. Reed President, National Charities Association June 15, 1892
2nd 1893 George E. Howard Professor of History May 31, 1893 "The American University and the American Man" PDF of 2nd commencement speech
3rd 1894 John Casper Branner Professor of Geology May 30, 1894 "The Education of the Scientific Man"
4th 1895 John M. Stillman Professor of Chemistry May 29, 1895 "Specialization in Education" PDF of 4th commencement speech
5th 1896 Melville B. Anderson Professor of English Literature May 27, 1896 "Hamlet: the Transition from the Contemplative to the Active Life"
6th 1897 Oliver P. Jenkins Professor of Physiology and Histology May 26, 1897 "he Passing of Plato" PDF of 6th commencement speech
7th 1898 Walter Miller Professor of Classical Philology May 25, 1898 "The Old and the New" PDF of 7th commencement speech
8th 1899 Fernando Sanford Professor of Physics May 24, 1899 "The Scientific Method and its Limitations" PDF of 8th commencement speech
9th 1900 William H. Hudson Professor of English Literature May 30, 1900 "The Culture of Today and the Literature of Tomorrow"
10th 1901 George M. Richardson Professor of Organic Chemistry May 29, 1901 "The Gospel of Work" PDF of 10th commencement speech
11th 1902 Augustus T. Murray Professor of Greek May 28, 1902 "A Parallel and a Lesson"
12th 1903 Ewald Flugel Professor of English Philology May 25, 1903 "Our Anniversary is One of Hope"
13th 1904 Orrin Leslie Elliot Registrar May 18, 1904 "The Higher Education and Progress" PDF of 13th commencement speech
14th 1905 Charles D. Marx Professor of Civil Engineering May 24, 1905 "General Education of Engineers"
15th 1906 Benjamin I. Wheeler President, University of California Sep 15, 1906 "Orthography" PDF of 15th commencement speech
16th 1907 Harris Weinstock Sacramento merchant & Trustee, State of California May 22, 1907 "The Nation's Greatest Need of the Hour" PDF of 16th commencement speech
17th 1908 Ernest Carrol Moore Superintendent of Schools, Los Angeles May 20, 1908
18th 1909 James Parker Hall Dean, University of Chicago Law School May 19, 1909 "Business and the Nation"
19th 1910 William F. Slocum President, Colorado College May 23, 1910 "The Nation's Guarantee of Personal Rights"
20th 1911 Rev. Charles David Williams Bishop of Michigan May 22, 1911 "The New Patriotism and its Appeal to the College Graduate" PDF of 20th commencement speech
21st 1912 David P. Barrows Professor of Political Science, University of California May 20, 1912 "Possible Influences of the Panama Canal on our National Characters"
22nd 1913 David Starr Jordan University President May 19, 1913 "The Conquest of Europe by America"
23rd 1914 John Casper Branner University President May 18, 1914
24th 1915 David Starr Jordan University Chancellor May 17, 1915 "The Visionary in History"
25th 1916 David Starr Jordan University Chancellor May 22, 1916 "Twenty-Five Years of Stanford" PDF of 25th commencement speech
26th 1917 John M. Stillman University Vice President May 21, 1917 "idealism and National Policy" PDFof 26th commencement speech
27th 1918 John L. McNab U.S. District Attorney of San Francisco Jun 17, 1918 "A Call to Arms"
28th 1919 Paul Shorey Professor of Greek, University of Chicago Jun 16, 1919 "America First"
29th 1920 Stephen S. Wise American Reform Rabbi and Zionist Leader Jun 21, 1920 "The University and the Nation: a Study in Relationships"
30th 1921 Ray Lyman Wilbur, '96 University President Jun 20, 1921
31st 1922 Alonzo E. Taylor Director, Food Research Institute Jun 19, 1922 "Obligation of the University to the Student"
32nd 1923 Robert A. Millikan Director, Norman Bridge Laboratory, California Institute of Technology Jun 19, 1923
33rd 1924 Henry Suzzallo, '99 President, University of Washington Jun 23, 1924
34th 1925 Herbert C. Hoover, '95 U.S. Secretary of Commerce Jun 22, 1925
35th 1926 Ray Lyman Wilbur, '96 University President Jun 21, 1926 "The Volunteer"
36th 1927 Ray Lyman Wilbur, '96 University President Jun 20, 1927 "Pacific Neighbors"
37th 1928 John H. Finley Editor, New York Times Jun 18, 1928 "Planetary Thinking"
38th 1929 Ray Lyman Wilbur, '96 University President Jun 17, 1929
39th 1930 Robert Eckles Swain, '99 Acting University President Jun 16, 1930
40th 1931 William W. Campbell President Emeritus, University of California Jun 15, 1931
41st 1932 James Thomson Shotwell Professor of History, Columbia University Jun 20, 1932 "Peace"
42nd 1933 Ray Lyman Wilbur, '96 University President Jun 19, 1933 "Is this a new Renaissance?" PDF of 42nd commencement speech
43rd 1934 Ray Lyman Wilbur, '96 University President Jun 18, 1934 "Self Navigation"
44th 1935 Herbert C. Hoover, '95 Former U.S. President Jun 16, 1935
45th 1936 William F. Durand Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering Jun 14, 1936 "Problems"
46th 1937 Ray Lyman Wilbur, '96 University President Jun 13, 1937 "Coasting"
47th 1938 Arthur Howland Young Consulting Professor of Industrial Relations
48th 1939 Ray Lyman Wilbur, '96 University President June 18, 1939 "Human Hopes" PDF of 48th commencement speech
49th 1940 Ray Lyman Wilbur, '96 University President June 16, 1940 "Wheels" PDF of 49th commencement speech
50th 1941 Charles A. Beardsley, '06 Former President, American Bar Association
51st 1941 Lou Henry Hoover, '98 Former First Lady
51st 1942 Monroe E. Deutsch Vice President and Provost, University of California June 14, 1942 PDF of 51st commencement speech
52nd 1943 Ray Lyman Wilbur, '96 University Chancellor June 13, 1943 "The Human Family, Inc." PDF of 52nd commencement speech
53rd 1944 Henry R. Luce Editor, Time, Life, and Fortune magazines July 2, 1944 "The Human Situation" PDF of 53rd commencement speech
54th 1945 Isaiah Bowman President, Johns Hopkins University
55th 1946 Ordway Tread Editor & Director, Harper & Brothers; Chairman, New York City Board of Higher
56th 1947 Lee A. DuBridge President, California Institute of Technology
57th 1948 O.C. Carmichael President, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching June 13, 1948 "The Role of the Educated" PDF of 2nd commencement speech
58th 1949 J.E. Wallace Sterling, '38 University President
59th 1950 Lester Bowles Pearson Secretary of State for External Affairs, Canada
60th 1951 Eugene Meyer Chairman of the Board, Washington Post
61st 1952 Clark Kerr Chancellor Designate, University of California
62nd 1953 Sir Percy Spender Australian Ambassador to the United States
63rd 1954 Robert C. Swain, '28 Vice President, American Cynamid Co. June 13, 1954 "The Human Tortoise and the Scientific Hare" PDF of 63rd commencement speech
64th 1955 Dag Hammarskjold Secretary General, United Nations June 19, 1955 "The Nation and the World" PDF of 64th commencement speech
65th 1956 N.A.M. Mackenzie President, University of British Columbia June 17, 1956 "A Vision of Greatness" PDF of 65th commencement speech
66th 1957 J.E. Wallace Sterling, '38 University President
67th 1958 J.E. Wallace Sterling, '38 University President June 15, 1958 PDF of 67th commencement speech
68th 1959 J.E. Wallace Sterling, '38 University President
69th 1960 Barnaby C. Keeney President, Brown University
70th 1961 James D. Zellerbach Former U.S. Ambassador to Italy
71st 1962 Edwin H. Land President and Director of Research, Polaroid Corp. June 16, 1962 PDF of 71st commencement speech
72nd 1963 Lauris Norstad Retired General, U.S. Air Force; President, Owens-Corning
73rd 1964 Earl Warren Chief Justice, U.S. Supreme Court
74th 1965 David Elliot Bell Administrator, Agency for International Development, U.S. Department of State June 13, 1965 PDF of 74th commencement speech
75th 1966 Monroe E. Spaght, '29, AM '31, PhD '33 Managing Director, Royal Dutch Shell International June 12, 1966 PDF of 75th commencement speech
76th 1967 John Fischer Editor in Chief, Harper's Magazine June 18, 1967 "Four Choices for Young People" PDF of 76th commencement speech
77th 1968 J.E. Wallace Sterling, '38 University President
78th 1969 W. Willard Wirtz Former U.S. Secretary of Labor June 15, 1969 PDF of 78th commencement speech
79th 1970 Charles H. Percy Illinois Senator
80th 1971 Eric Sevareid CBS Washington Correspondent June 13, 1971 PDF of 80th commencement speech
81st 1972 James Reston Vice President, New York Times June 11, 1972 PDF of 81st commencement speech
82nd 1973 John Usher Monro Director of Freshman Studies, Miles College; Former Dean, Harvard College
83rd 1974 Archibald Cox Professor of Law, Harvard; Former Watergate Special Prosecutor June 16, 1974 PDF of 83rd commencement speech
84th 1975 Daniel P. Moynihan Professor of Government, Harvard "Can the System Work?"
85th 1976 Carla A. Hills, '55 U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
86th 1977 John Hope Franklin Professor of History, University of Chicago
87th 1978 Donald Kennedy Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Professor of Biological Sciences
88th 1979 Andrew Young U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
89th 1980 Lewis Thomas President, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
90th 1981 Warren Christoper, '49 Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State
91st 1982 Sandray Day O'Connor, '50 U.S. Supreme Court Justice PDF of 91st commencement speech
92nd 1983 George P. Shultz U.S. Secretary of State; Professor of Public Policy
93rd 1984 Richard W. Lyman President, Rockefeller Foundation
94th 1985 Mario Cuomo Governor, New York
95th 1986 Ted Koppel, '62 ABC-TV "Nightline" host
96th 1987 Thomas "Tip" O'Neill Retired Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
97th 1988 Robert C. Maynard Editor and President, Oakland Tribune
98th 1989 Garry Trudeau Cartoonist, Doonesbury
99th 1990 Marion Wright Edelman President, Children's Defense Fund
100th 1991 John W. Gardner, '35, AM '36 Haas Centennial Professor of Public Service; Founder, Common Cause; Former U.S.
Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare
PDF of 100th commencement speech
101st 1992 Kirk Varnedoe, AM '70, PhD '72 Director, Department of Painting and Sculpture, Museum of Modern Art June 14, 1992 PDF of 101st commencement speech
102nd 1993 Dianne Feinstein, '55 United States Senator PDF of 102nd commencement speech
103rd 1994 Stephen Carter, '76 Professor of Law, Yale University PDF of 103rd commencement speech
104th 1995 William Perry, '49 U.S. Secretary of Defense June 18, 1995 PDF of 104th commencement speech
105th 1996 Mae Jemison, '77 Founder and Director, Jemison Institute for Advanced Technology in Developing Countries
at Dartmouth College
June 19, 1996 PDF of 105th commencement speech
106th 1997 Stephen Breyer, '59 U.S. Supreme Court Justice June 18, 1997 HTML of 106th commencement speech
107th 1998 Ted Koppel, AM '62 Anchor of ABC's "Nightline" June 14, 1998 HTML of 107th commencement speech
108th 1999 Robert Pinsky, AM '67 Poet June 13, 1999 HTML of 108th commencement speech
109th 2000 Kofi Annan Secretary General, United Nations June 14, 2000 HTML of 109th commencement speech
110th 2001 Carleton (Carly) S. Fiorina, '76 Chairman and CEO, Hewlett Packard Co. June 17, 2001 HTML of 110th commencement speech Streaming Video of 110th commencement speech
111th 2002 Condoleeza Rice National Security Advisor June 16, 2002 HTML of 111th commencement speech Streaming Video of 111th commencement speech
112th 2003 Alejandro Toledo, AM '72, AM '74, PhD '92 President of Peru June 15, 2003 HTML of 112th commencement speech Streaming Video of 112th commencement speech
113th 2004 Sandra Day O'Connor, '50 U.S. Supreme Court Justice HTML of 113th commencement speech
114th 2005 Steve Jobs Co-Founder and CEO, Apple Inc. June 12, 2005 HTML of 114th commencement speech Streaming Video of 114th commencement speech
115th 2006 Tom Brokaw (undergraduate) Anchor, NBC Nightly News June 18, 2006 HTML of 115th commencement speech (undergraduate) Streaming Video of 115th commencement speech (undergraduate)
115th 2006 Vartan Gregorian, '58, PhD '64 (graduate) President of the Carnegie Corporation, former president of the New York Public Library
and Brown University
June 17, 2006 HTMLof 115th commencement speech (graduate) Streaming Video of 115th commencement speech (graduate)
116th 2007 Dana Gioia Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts June 17, 2007 HTML of 116th commencement speech
117th 2008 Oprah Winfrey Global media leader and philanthropist June 15, 2008 HTML of 117th commencement speech
118th 2009 Anthony M. Kennedy Associate Justice, United States Supreme Court June 14, 2009 HTML of 118th commencement speech Streaming Video of 118th commencement speech
119th 2010 Susan E. Rice, '86 U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations June 13, 2010 HTML of 119th commencement speech Streaming Video of 119th commencement speech
120th 2011 Felipe Calderon Hinojosa President of Mexico June 12, 2011 HTML of 120th commencement speech Streaming Video of 120th commencement speech
121st 2012 Cory Booker, '91, AM '92 Mayor of Newark, NJ June 17, 2012 HTML of 121st commencement speech Streaming Video of 121st commencement speech
122nd 2013 Michael Bloomberg Mayor of New York, NY June 16, 2013 HTML of 122nd commencement speech Streaming video of 122nd commencement speech
123rd 2014 Bill and Melinda Gates Jun 15, 2014 HTML of 123rd commencement speech Streaming video of 123rd commencement speech
124th 2015 Richard Engel Chief foreign correspondent for NBC News Jun 14, 2015 Streaming video of 124th commencement speech