Big Names From Barack Obama to ‘Hamilton’ Star to Address Grads at 2016 Commencements in Philadelphia Region

Before students can walk away with their well-earned diplomas this graduation season, they'll have the opportunity to hear wise words from some influential people during commencement speeches at Philadelphia area colleges and universities.

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President Barack Obama will be making the commencement speech at Rutgers University-New Brunswick on May 15. According to Rutgers' reports, more than 52,000 people are expected to attend the ceremony.
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The Temple University School of Media and Communication welcomes commencement speaker, journalist and editor of the Washington Post, Martin Baron on May 6 . Baron's career was recently highlighted in the Academy Award-winning film "Spotlight," which told the story of investigative journalists fight to uncover scandal in the Catholic Church.
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Tony and Grammy Award winning composer and lyricist of Broadway shows "In the Heights" and "Hamilton," Lin-Manuel Miranda is set to speak at the University of Penn's 260th Commencement on May 16. At the commencement, Miranda will receive an honorary doctor of the arts degree.
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Carolyn Woo is president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services -- one of the world's largest international relief agencies which helps more than 85 million people. She is delivering Immaculata University's Commencement speech on May 15.
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Both Cokie Roberts and her husband Steve Roberts are speaking at Gettysburg College's commencement on May 15. With 40 years in broadcasting, Cokie is a well known political commentator for ABC. Steve has been a journalist for 45 years and appears regularly as a political analyst on ABC.
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Penn State University has multiple commencements with multiple speakers, but the Penn State College of Communications will have television legend Donald P. Bellisario as the commencement speaker on May 7. Known for hit shows like NCIS and Magnum P.I.', Bellisario is also a Penn State Distinguished Alumnus.
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Philadelphia native Deesha Dyer has been the White House Social Secretary since April 2015. Dyer is an alum of the Community College of Philadelphia, having finished her degree while working in the White House. She is set to speak at the commencement on May 7.
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Kathy Ochse is senior director of client services at StudioPost Operations, a Universal Studios post-production facility. Ochse graduated from West Chester University in 1989 and has 25 years of experience in leadership and management of post-production customer service. She is set to speak at WCU on May 7.
Alum and former Villanova basketball player, George Raveling is set to deliver the commencement speech at the university on May 13. Raveling is now director of international basketball for Nike.
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President of the Clinton Foundation Donna E. Shalala will address the 2016 Drexel University class at their commencement on June 11. Shalala was appointed U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services in 1993, and became the longest-serving HHS secretary in United States history.
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Michael Smerconish, host of The Michael Smerconish Program on SeriusXM and "Smerconish" on CNN, is set to give the commencement speech at Widener University on May 21. Smerconish has been named one of America's most important talk show hosts by Talkers Magazine.
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Bryan Stevenson is the founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative. He works fighting poverty and racial discrimination has won him numerous awards. Stevenson, who grew up in Delaware, is scheduled to give the commencement speech at the University of Delaware on May 28.
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The Saint Joseph's Hawks will welcome Daniel J. Hilferty, president and CEO of Independence Blue Cross, for the university's commencement on May 14. Hilferty is a former member of St. Joe's board of trustees and a 1978 graduate.
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