Academics
Areas of Study

Commencement speakers organized by year.

Deaf & Hard of Hearing speakers’ names in BOLD
Year Speaker(s) Position Place
1869 Hon. Jacob D. Cox Hon. Amos Kendall Rev. George W. Samson Rev. Byron Sunderland U.S. Secretary of the Interior Board of the Directors President, Columbian College Board of the Directors Congregational Church
1870 Hon. Jacob D. Cox U.S. Secretary of the Interior Congregational Church
1871 no commencement
1872 Hon. Columbus Delano U.S. Secretary of the Interior Chapel Hall
1873 Hon. John Eaton, Jr. U.S. Commissioner of Education Chapel Hall
1874 Hon. Lot M. Morrill U.S. Senator from Maine Chapel Hall
1875 Hon. Columbus Delano U.S. Secretary of the Interior Chapel Hall
1876 Prof. Joseph Henry Daniel C. Gilman Hon. Zachariah Chandler Director, Smithsonian Institution President, John Hopkins University U.S. Secretary of the Interior Chapel Hall
1877 Pres. James C. Welling Hon. Carl Schurz Rutherford B. Hayes President, Columbian University U.S. Secretary of the Interior The President of the United States Chapel Hall
1878 Hon. William E. Niblack Hon. James A. Garfield Judge, Supreme Court of Indiana U.S. Representative from Ohio Chapel Hall
1879 Prof. Noah Porter President, Yale College (brother of Samuel Porter) Chapel Hall
1880 Alexander Graham Bell Hon. J. Randolph Tucker Inventor of the telephone and Advocate of Oral U.S. Representative from Virginia Chapel Hall
1881 Hon. Samuel J. Kirkwood U.S. Secretary of the Interior Chapel Hall
1882 Rev. William C. Cattell President, Lafayette College, Pennsylvania Chapel Hall
1883 Edwin Allan Hodgson Robert Patterson Editor of the Deaf Mutes’ Journal Teacher, Ohio School for the Deaf Chapel Hall
1884 Daniel C. Gilman President, Johns Hopkins University Chapel Hall
1885 Simon Newcomb Professor, U.S. Navy Chapel Hall
1886 Hon. John A. Jameson Jurist, Chicago Chapel Hall
1887 Rev. Aaron L. Chapin Ex-President, Beloit College, Wisconsin Chapel Hall
1888 Rev. Joseph H. Twichell Asylum Hill Congregational Church, Hartford Chapel Hall
1889 Hon. James W. Patterson Superintendent of Public Instruction in New Hampshire Chapel Hall
1890 Hon. John W. Noble Hon. William D. Washburn U.S. Secretary of the Interior U.S. Senator from Minnesota Chapel Hall
1891 no commencement Chapel Hall
1892 Hon. John W. Noble Hon. Charles E. Hooker U.S. Secretary of the Interior U.S. Representative from Mississippi Chapel Hall
1893 Daniel C. Gilman President, Johns Hopkins University Chapel Hall
1894 Hon. William F. Vilas Hon. Joseph R. Hawley U.S. Senator from Wisconsin U.S. Senator from Connecticut Chapel Hall
1895 Hon. William L. Wilson U.S. Postmaster General Chapel Hall
1896 Jamini Nath Banerji Benaiah L. Whitman Head Master of the School for the Deaf, Calcutta, India President, Columbian University Chapel Hall
1897 Ethelbert D. Warfield President, Lafayette College, Pennsylvania Chapel Hall
1898 Hon. David B. Henderson U.S. Representative from Iowa Chapel Hall
1899 Arnold H. Payne Hon. John Hay Oxford, England U.S. Secretary of State Chapel Hall
1900 Hon. Jabez L.M. Curry Secretary of the Peabody and Slater Educational Boards Chapel Hall
1901 Hon. Henry B.F. MacFarland His Excellency Mr. Wu Ting-Fang President Board of Commissioners of the D.C. Minister from China to the U.S. Chapel Hall
1902 Hon. David J. Brewer Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Chapel Hall
1903 Charles W. Needham President, Columbian University Chapel Hall
1904 Daniel C. Gilman President., Carnegie Institution Chapel Hall
1905 Adolphus W. Greely Chief Signal Officer, U.S. Army Chapel Hall
1906 John Sparhawk Attorney at Law, Philadelphia Chapel Hall
1907 James Denison Daniel C. Gilman Hon. James R. Garfield Principal of the Kendall School Ex-President, Johns Hopkins University U.S. Secretary of the Interior Chapel Hall
1908 David Hillhouse Buel President, Georgetown University Chapel Hall
1909 Rev. Charles Wood Pastor of the Church of the Covenant Chapel Hall
1910 Hon. Richard A. Ballinger U.S. Secretary of the Interior Chapel Hall
1911 Hon. Thetus W. Sims Robert Patterson Thomas Fell J.R. Dobyns William Howard Taft Edward Miner Gallaudet Congressional Member of the Board of Directors Principal of the Ohio School for the Deaf President, St. John’s College, Maryland Supt., Mississippi Institution for the Deaf The President of the United States President of the Board of Directors Chapel Hall
1912 Rev. Ulysses G.B. Pierce Minister, All Souls Church, Washington Chapel Hall
1913 James H. Gore Writer (Professor, Columbian University) Chapel Hall
1914 William Allen Wilbur Dean, George Washington University Chapel Hall
1915 Hon. Frederick L. Siddons Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the D.C. Chapel Hall
1916 Hon. Newton D. Baker U.S. Secretary of War Chapel Hall
1917 Merrill E. Gates Ex-President, Rutgers and Amherst Universities Chapel Hall
1918 David Jayne Hill Politician and diplomat Chapel Hall
1919 Hon. Wesley L. Jones U.S. Senator from Washington Chapel Hall
1920 Hon. Leslie M. Shaw Ex-Governor of Iowa and Ex-Secretary of the Treasury Chapel Hall
1921 Hon. Simeon D. Fess U.S. Representative from Ohio Chapel Hall
1922 Hon. Hubert Work U.S. Postmaster General Chapel Hall
1923 Mirza Hussein Khan Alai Imperial Minister of Persia Chapel Hall
1924 Lucius Charles Clark Chancellor, The American University Chapel Hall
1925 Vernon Kellogg U.S. Secretary, National Research Council Chapel Hall
1926 J. Franklin Jameson Director, Dept. of Historical Research Carnegie Institution Chapel Hall
1927 J. W. Jones Supt. Ohio State School for the Deaf Chapel Hall
1928 Lucius Charles Clark Chancellor, The American University Chapel Hall
1929 Rev. John W. Hamilton Ex-Chancellor, American University Chapel Hall
1930 Rabbi Abram Simon Washington Hebrew Congregation Chapel Hall
1931 John Henry MacCracken Associate Director, American Council on Education Chapel Hall
1932 William John Cooper U.S. Commissioner of Education Chapel Hall
1933 Rev. Rufus Weaver Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church (The Dynamic of Culture) Chapel Hall
1934 Harrison Howe Chemist (Past President of Washington Rotary Club) Chapel Hall
1935 Ignatius Bjorlee Supt., Maryland School for the Deaf Chapel Hall
1936 Hon. Ernest G. Draper U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce Chapel Hall
1937 Hon. Albert Levitt Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the U.S. Chapel Hall
1938 Hon. H. Jerry Voorhis U.S. Representative from California Chapel Hall
1939 Earl James McGrath Specialist in Higher Education, American Council on Education Chapel Hall
1940 Albert W. Atwood Colonel Chapel Hall
1941 Dr. Rufus W. Weaver Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church Chapel Hall
1942 Hon. Paul V. McNutt U.S. Federal Security Administrator Chapel Hall
1943 Ignatius Bjorlee Supt., Maryland School for the Deaf Chapel Hall
1944 Robert L. Haycook Superintendent of Schools, District of Columbia Chapel Hall
1945 Rev. A. Powell Davies Minister of All Souls’ Unitarian Church Chapel Hall
1946 Hon. Elbert D. Thomas U.S. Senator from Utah Chapel Hall
1947 Mrs. Ethel Acuff Poore Supt., Tennessee School for the Deaf Chapel Hall
1948 Dr. John Dale Russell Director, Div. of Higher Education, U.S. Office of Education Chapel Hall
1949 George M. McClure, Sr. Teacher, Kentucky School for the Deaf Chapel Hall
1950 Buell G. Gallagher Special Consultant to the Commissioner of Education Chapel Hall
1951 Odie W. Underhill Supt., North Carolina School for the Deaf Chapel Hall
1952 Hon. Charles E. Moylan Judge, Supreme Bench of Baltimore City Chapel Hall
1953 Hon. Frank Carlson U.S. Senator from Kansas Chapel Hall
1954 Hon. Nelson A. Rockefeller Undersecretary, Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare Chapel Hall
1955 Guy Everett Snavely Past Executive Director, Association of American College Chapel Hall
1956 Jackson A. Raney Supt., Indiana State School for the Deaf Chapel Hall
1957 Edward Foss Wilson U.S. Assistant Secretary, Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare Chapel Hall
1958 Hurst R. Anderson President, The American University Chapel Hall
1959 Rev. Angus Dun Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Washington Hughes Memorial Gymnasium
1960 Hon. Cairine MacKay Wilson Member of Parliament, Canada Hughes Memorial Gymnasium
1961 Hon. Lyndon B. Johnson Vice President of the United States Student Union Building
1962 Hon. Boisfeuillet Jones Special Assistant for Health and Medical Affairs, Dept. of H.E.W. Student Union Building
1963 Hon. Homer Thornberry U.S. Representative from Texas Elstad Auditorium
1964 Hon. Edward Moore Kennedy U.S. Senator from Massachusetts Elstad Auditorium
1965 Hon. Bradshaw Mintener Attorney at Law (Assistant Secretary of H.E.W.) Elstad Auditorium
1966 Hon. John E. Fogarty U.S. Representative from Rhode Island Elstad Auditorium
1967 Joseph G. Demeza Supt., Ontario School for the Deaf Elstad Auditorium
1968 Mary E. Switzer Administrator, Social and Rehabilitation Service, Dept. of H.E.W. Elstad Auditorium
1969 Hon. Linton M. Collins Judge, U.S. Court of Claims Elstad Auditorium
1970 Hon. John G. Veneman U.S. Undersecretary of H.E.W. Hotchkiss Field
1971 Hon. Elliot L. Richardson U.S. Secretary of H.E.W. Hotchkiss Field
1972 Hon. Warren G. Magnuson U.S. Senator from State of Washington Washington Cathedral
1973 Hon. Jayne Baker Spain Vice Chairman, U.S. Civil Service Commission National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
1974 Hon. Albert H. Quie U.S. Representative from Minnesota National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
1975 Dr. Margaret Mead Anthropologist National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
1976 Art Buchwald Writer National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
1977 Jack Ashley Member of Parliament, Canada National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
1978 Nanette Fabrary MacDougall Actress National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
1979 Steven Muller President, the Johns Hopkins University National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
1980 Hon. Eleanor Holmes Norton Chair, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
1981 Frank G. Bowe U.S. Representative to the United Nations International Year of Disabled Persons National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
1982 Louise Fletcher Actress Field House
1983 Hon. Robert Packwood U.S. Senator from Oregon Field House
1984 Hon. David E. Bonior U.S. Representative from Michigan Field House
1985 Hon. William Bennett Randall L. Thomas U.S. Secretary of Dept. of Education CEO of AT&T Field House
1986 Leslie Stahl White House Correspondent Field House
1987 Hon. Larry M. Speakes White House Press Secretary Field House
1988 John Slaughter Chancellor, University of Maryland, College Park Field House
1989 Johnetta B. Cole President, Spelman College, Georgia Field House
1990 Harvey J. Corson Provost Designate Field House
1991 Peter Jennings Anchor and Senior Editor, ABC Field House
1992 Kenneth Bertaccini President and CEO, AT&T Consumer Products Field House
1993 Roger Wilkins Prof., George Mason University Field House
1994 William Jefferson Clinton The President of the United States Field House
1995 Marian Wright Edelman President, Children’s Defense Fund Field House
1996 Hon. Robert J. Dole >Jack R. Gannon U.S. Senator from Kansas Special Assistant to the President for Advocacy Field House
1997 His Exellency Franklin Abraham Sonn South African Ambassador to the U.S. Field House
1998 Hon. Richard W. Riley Gregory J. Hibok U.S. Secretary of Education Merrill Lynch Financial Consultant Field House
1999 William C. Richardson President and CEO, Kellogg Foundation Field House
2000 David Miller Sadker Prof., the American University Field House
2001 William Earl Kennard Senior Fellow, the Aspen Institute Field House
2002 Hon. David E. Bonior U.S. Representative from Michigan Field House
2003 Sam Donaldson ABC News Correspondent Field House
2004 Freeman A. Hrabowski, III President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Field House
2005 Oliver W. Sacks Neurologist, Author Field House
2006 Ken Chlouber “Father” of the Leadville 100 Field House
2007 Albert J. Simone President, Rochester Institute of Technology Field House
2008 Donald Langenberg Chancellor emeritus of the University System of Maryland Field House
2009 Hon. Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen Member of the South African Parliament Field House
2010 Nancy S. Grasmick Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Field House
2011 Gary Malkowski Director, Ontario Association of Education Advocates Field House
2012 Markku J. Jokinen Former President of World Federation of the Deaf Field House
2013 Ray LaHood U.S. Secretary of Transportation Field House
2014 Philip Bravin First Deaf Board of Trustee Chairperson of G.U. Field House
2015 Vinton G. Cerf American Internet Pioneer Field House
2016 Bobbie Beth Scoggins Advocate, Athlete, Scholar, Educator and Actress Field House
2017 Glenn Anderson James Maguire Ex-Chair of Board of Trustees, Counselor, Educator Founder, Philadelphia Insurance Company and Philanthropist Field House
2018 Elizabeth A. Moore Associate Professor, Gallaudet University Field House
2019 Hon. Thomas Jeffery Cole U.S. Representative, Fourth Congressional District of Oklahoma Field House
2020/2021 Charlie “CJ” Jones Performing Artist and Advocate Virtual Ceremony
2022 Tim Cook CEO of Apple Field House

Contact Us

Archives

King Jordan Student Academic Center 1255

(202) 250-2604

By submitting this form, I opt in to receive select information and deaf resources from Gallaudet University via email.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.