Sandberg, Schmidt Join Obama as College Commencement Speakers

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg
Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook Inc., speaks at the Barnard College commencement ceremony in New York. Photographer: Louis Lanzano/Bloomberg

Facebook Inc. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, Google Inc. Chairman Eric Schmidt and U.S. President Barack Obama are among this year’s lineup of college commencement speakers.

Sandberg will stand at the dais at Harvard Business School’s ceremony on May 23, while Schmidt will address graduates at the University of California, Berkeley, on May 12, and then students at Boston University on May 20. Obama is the featured speaker at Barnard College’s commencement on May 14.

Colleges vie to enlist the most influential speakers, many of whom are alumni of the schools. This year, the range at selective campuses, including those in the Ivy League, come from across media, education, politics and sports.

Harvard’s class of 2012 will hear speeches on May 23 from Democratic Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts and comedian Andy Samberg. Journalist Barbara Walters will speak at Yale’s Class Day on May 20, and author Michael Lewis addresses Princeton University graduates on June 3. Spelman College’s May 20 ceremony will include a keynote address from Oprah Winfrey.

Wendy Kopp, Teach for America Inc.’s chief executive officer, is the keynote speaker at Dartmouth College’s ceremony on June 10, while Geoffrey Canada, CEO at Harlem Children’s Zone Inc., will address University of Pennsylvania graduates on May 14.

The sports world will be represented when Jerry Reinsdorf, chairman of the Chicago Bulls and the Chicago White Sox, addresses Northwestern University’s graduation on May 11. Mark Murphy, CEO of the Green Bay Packers, will speak at Colgate University’s commencement on May 20.

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