Here's Every Columbia Class Day Speaker We Know (So Far)

With Commencement and class days less than a month away, here's who we can expect to speak to our graduates in celebration of their accomplishments.

By
Kelly Moffitt
April 08, 2021

Columbia Commencement is right around the corner and with it comes the special school-specific celebrations known as Class Days. #RoarLions2021! During this year's Commencement ceremony, we'll hear from President Lee C. Bollinger on April 30 at 10:30 a.m. during a special live webcast to celebrate our graduates across the university.

But schools across Columbia's campuses will also host ceremonies and special speakers of their own. We're keeping track of those Class Day speakers as they are announced in the running list below. We'll keep the list updated as we hear more!

School of the Arts

Ayad Akhtar

Ayad Akhtar

Ayad Akhtar (SOA'02), Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of Disgraced and author of Homeland Elegies, will be the speaker at the School of Art’s virtual recognition of graduates, which will take place online on Friday, April 30 at 12:30 pm.

Read more.


Barnard College

Christiane Amanpour

Christiane Amanpour

Award-winning journalist and CNN Chief International Anchor Christiane Amanpour will deliver the keynote address at this year's Barnard Commencement on Thursday, April 29.

Read more. 


Columbia College 

Mario Van Peebles

Mario Van Peebles

Mario Van Peebles (CC’78), an actor and director whose 40-year career has been characterized by a commitment to raising consciousness, will deliver the keynote for Columbia College’s Class Day on Wednesday, April 28.

Read more.


School of Engineering and Applied Science

Rocco Commisso

Rocco B. Commisso

Rocco B. Commisso (SEAS'71, BUS'75), founder, chairman, and CEO of Mediacom Communications Corporation, will give the keynote address to Columbia Engineering students at Class Day on Thursday, April 29.

Read more.


School of General Studies

Elegance Bratton

Elegance Bratton

Elegance Bratton (GS'14), an award-winning filmmaker, photographer, and author will give the keynote address at the School of General Studies Class Day ceremony, which will be held on Wednesday, April 28 at 11 a.m.

Read more. 


School of International and Public Affairs

Madeleine Albright
Eric Holder

Madeleine Albright and Eric Holder

The former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (GSAS'76) and the former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (CC'73, LAW'76) will be featured speakers at SIPA’s graduation ceremony on April 28.

Read more. 


Columbia Law School

Antony Blinken

Antony Blinken

U.S. Secretary of State and alumnus Antony J. Blinken (LAW'88) will speak at Columbia Law School's 2021 graduation ceremony, which will take place on April 29. 

Read more.


School of Professional Studies

Letitia James

Letitia James

New York State Attorney General Letitia James will be the keynote speaker for the 2021 SPS Graduation Ceremony on April 27.

Read more. 

 


Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

Aletha Maybank

Aletha Maybank

Aletha Maybank (MSPH'06), MD, MPH, is the Chief Health Equity Officer, Group Vice President, American Medical Association and will speak at the VP&S MD and PhD ceremony on May 19.

Read more.

 


Mailman School of Public Health

Linda Thomas-Greenfield

Linda Thomas-Greenfield

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, will be the Columbia Mailman School’s 2021 Commencement Speaker. She will deliver the keynote address on April 29 and receive the School’s Visionary Leadership Award.

Read more.


School of Social Work

Reuben Jonathan Miller

Reuben Jonathan Miller

Dr. Reuben Jonathan Miller, Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice, will be the 2021 commencement speaker on Friday, April 30. 

Read more.


Looking for more information about Commencement 2021? Check out our website dedicated to the celebration of our graduates.