Navigation

Search This Site

Finals Weekend

Complete List of Valedictory & Final Exercises Speakers

 

 

 

Baccaulaureate / Class Day / Valedictory Exercises Speaker*

Final Exercises Speaker

1964

 

Colgate W. Darden, Jr.

1965

 

Robert Kent Gooch

1966

 

Jesse Wakefield Beams

1967

 

Edgar F. Shannon, Jr.

1968

 

Mills E. Godwin, Jr.

1969

 

Edgar F. Shannon, Jr.

1970

Baccalaureate was cancelled

Edgar F. Shannon, Jr.

1971

Kenneth G. Elzinga

Vance Hartke

1972

Buckminster Fuller

William F. Buckley, Jr.

1973

James Dickey

Lady Bird Johnson

1974

Garry B. Trudeau

Edgar F. Shannon, Jr.

1975

George Garrett

Nancy Hale

1976

Joseph Sorrentino

Mills E. Godwin, Jr.

1977

Raymond A. Moody, Jr.

James R. Schlesinger

1978

James S. Payne

Thurgood Marshall

1979

Eugene McCarthy

William H. Rehnquist

1980

Raymond C. Bice, Jr.

Charles L. Brown

1981

Jeff MacNelly

George Bush

1982

Virginius Dabney

Pete V. Domenici

1983

D. Alan Williams

Charles Robb

1984

Edward M. Kennedy

C. Vann Woodward

1985

John W. Warner

Frank L. Hereford, Jr.

1986

Ted Turner

L. Douglas Wilder

1987

Leslie Gelb

Elizabeth H. Dole

1988

Sam Donaldson

John P. Stevens

1989

Alex Sanders**

Gerald Baliles

1990

Arthur Ashe

Robert M. O'Neil

1991

Art Buchwald

Nathaniel Howell

1992

Katie Couric

John Charles Thomas

1993

Tom Brokaw

John T. Casteen III

1994

Brit Hume

George Allen

1995

Marian Wright Edelman

William J. Raspberry

1996

James Carville

Kathryn C. Thornton

1997

Wyatt Andrews

Hunter B. Andrews

1998

Christopher Reeve

James S. Gilmore III

1999

Sara James

Howard H. Baker, Jr.

2000

Andy Rooney

Alfred R. Berkeley III

2001

Timothy A. Koogle

Francis S. Collins

2002

David Baldacci

Mark R. Warner

2003

L.D. Britt

Mortimer Caplin

2004

Atiim Kiambu (Tiki) Barber

John W. Warner

2005

Ron Suskind

Vivian Pinn

2006

TomWolfe

Timothy M. Kaine

2007

Boyd Tinsley

John Grisham

2008

Sheila C. Johnson

Hunter R. Rawlings III

2009

Dawn Staley

J. Harvie Wilkinson III

2010

David Baldacci

John T. Casteen III

2011

J. Brady Lum

Robert F. McDonnell

2012

Valerie Ackerman

Katie Couric

2013

Stephen Colbert

Jim Webb

2014

Peyton Manning

Ray Mabus

***2015

Ed Helms

Terry McAuliffe
Bob Bruner

2016

Sarah Drew

Rita Dove
Paul Mahoney

2017

President Juan Manuel Santos

Deborah McDowell
Bob Pianta

2018

Chris Long

Terry Sullivan (Saturday)
Terry Sullivan (Sunday)

*From 1971-1978, there was a Baccalaureate speaker. In 1979, there was a Baccalaureate/ Class Day speaker. Valedictory Exercises began in 1980. 

**Mr. Sanders is an alumnus and was the parent of a graduating student. He substituted for Pat Conroy, who was unable to get to Charlottesville at the last minute due to weather.
 
***Until 2015, the University only held one Final Exercises Ceremony. It now holds two ceremonies - one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Each ceremony has its own speaker.