As we plan ahead for spring ceremonies, HWA has plenty of speakers for your commencement week festivities and alumni events. Here are just a few examples of speakers who can mark this special occasion with an inspiring and indelible address.


Kizzmekia Corbett: Lead Scientist, COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Development, TIME Hero of the Year, Assistant Professor at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Former Scientist Lead at the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Advocate for Diversity in STEM


Gloria Steinem: Iconic Visionary of the Women's Movement, Co-Founder of the National Women’s Political Caucus, and Co-Founder of Ms. Magazine


Wynton Marsalis: International Jazz Icon, Renowned Musician, Composer, Bandleader, Educator and a Leading Advocate of American culture, Managing and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Director of Jazz Studies at The Juilliard School


Laura Ling: Emmy Award-Winning Journalist, Producer and Documentarian, Author of Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home, Head of Programming, Hearst Television's Video Streaming Service


Daveed Diggs: Award-Winning and Trailblazing Actor, Writer, Rapper, and Producer, Known for his roles as Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de Lafayette in the Broadway hit Hamilton


Ronan Farrow: Pulitzer Prize and Peabody Award-Winning Investigative Reporter, New York Times Bestselling Author, Contributing Writer, The New Yorker, Documentary Filmmaker, HBO, Rhodes Scholar and Former U.S. State Department official


Andrew Young: Civil Rights Activist & Former Executive Director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Mayor of Atlanta (1982-1990), U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (1977-1979), U.S. Representative from Georgia (1973-1977)

Ambassador Young is available to speak virtually at commencement ceremonies.


Michael 'Killer Mike' Render: Grammy Award-Winning Rapper and Songwriter, Entrepreneur, Activist and Advocate for Social Justice, Equity, and Community Engagement


Mahershala Ali: Critically-Acclaimed Award-Winning Actor, Musician and Rapper


More Great Speakers for Commencements...

  • Allyson Felix - Most Decorated U.S. Track & Field Olympic Athlete, Holder of 13 Global Titles, 10 United States Championships, 11 Olympic Medals, and a World Record, One of TIME's 100 Most Influential People, One of Bloomberg's 50 People and Ideas that Defined Global Business in 2021 Watch her speak > >
  • Marcus Buckingham - New York Times Best-Selling Author, Researcher, and Founder of the Strengths Revolution, Head of ADP Research Institute | People + Performance, Expert on Outstanding Leadership and Management Practices Watch him speak > >
  • Theo Epstein - Renowned General Manager who led the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs to historic World Series Championships, Youngest General Manager in baseball history and youngest to win a World Series, Executive, Arctos Sports Partners and Advisor, Major League Baseball Watch him speak > >
  • Marra B. Gad - Award-Winning Author of The Color of Love: A Story of a Mixed-Race Jewish Girl, President, Egad! Productions, Advocate for Mental Health, Racial Equity, and Adopted Children and Families Watch her speak > >
  • Katie Sowers: Coaching with the Kansas City Chiefs, First Openly LGBTQ+ Coach in the NFL, Former Offensive Assistant Coach of the San Francisco 49ers Watch her speak > >
  • Steven Van Zandt - Musician, Songwriter, Music and TV Producer, and Actor, Famed Founding Member of the E Street Band, Member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Author of Unrequited Infatuations, a Memoir Watch him speak > >
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger - Governor of California (2003-2011), Cultural Icon, Climate Change Activist Watch him speak > >
  • Kwame Alexander - New York Times Bestselling Author, Poet, and Educator Watch him speak > >
  • Sara Sidner - Award-Winning National and International CNN Correspondent Watch her speak > >
  • Curt Menefee - Award-Winning Reporter, Veteran Sports Anchor, and Broadcaster, Host, FOX NFL Sunday and UFC, TV and Radio Personality Watch him speak > >