As commencement season draws near, graduating seniors around the nation simultaneously anticipate and dread their entry into the real world. A time-honored tradition, the commencement address serves to inspire these young men and women as they make their mark as independent, educated, and motivated individuals. APB is proud to offer commencement speakers who represent the elite of their respective fields, from professional athletes and media gurus to entertainers and world leaders. So grab your cap, gown, and tassle (regardless of whether you have yet to don them or did so 25 years ago) and check out some of our noteworthy commencement speakers.
In his acclaimed memoir, The Other Wes Moore, Moore shares the true stories of two men with the same name and similar upbringings but starkly different fates. Imparting the importance of personal and social responsibility in shaping one’s future, he probes the questions and consequences of choices in life, posing the question, “How is it one man became a Rhodes Scholar while the other landed a lifetime prison sentence?” A youth advocate and decorated war veteran, Wes Moore speaks eloquently and passionately to his audiences, resonating within their hearts and minds. Learn more about speaker Wes Moore.
The eldest son of former Florida governor Jeb Bush, George P. Bush gave his first speech to the Republican National Committee at the age of 12. A practicing lawyer who started his own private equity fund, Bush is the co-founder of Hispanic Republicans of Texas, which works to recruit, elect, support, and defend Hispanic Republican officeholders and political candidates. A dynamic and earnest speaker, George P. Bush is dedicated to promoting educational reform and inspires his audiences to become engaged citizens. Learn more about speaker George P. Bush.
Award-winning journalist Mariane Pearl is the author of A Mighty Heart, the inspiration for the film of the same name starring Angelina Jolie. The book tells the story of her pursuit of those who captured and killed her husband, Daniel Pearl, a South Asian bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal who had been reporting from Pakistan. Choosing to live a full life with her son, Pearl is determined not to be broken. Intelligent and articulate, she reveals the resilient spirit that has guided her through her darkest days and with a vision that transcends religion, race, and nationality, she is a living example that hope always wins out over despair. Learn more about speaker Mariane Pearl.
A Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and blogger for The New York Times and the best-selling co-author of China Wakes, Nick Kristof is an extraordinary human rights advocate and chronicler of humanity. A seasoned journalist who has traveled the globe reporting on the real people and issues behind the headlines, his latest book is Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, which he co-authored with wife, Sheryl WuDunn. Crossing over into activism and hoping his dispatches will resonate with people, Kristof gives a voice to the voiceless. Learn more about speaker Nick Kristof.
The first female President of Ireland, a former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and a member of The Elders, President Mary Robinson is skilled at diplomatically addressing challenging issues while stressing the importance of ethics in leadership. She is president of the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice, a center for thought leadership, education, and advocacy on the struggle for global justice. Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the highest civilian honor – by President Obama in 2009 and listed as one of Time's top 100 men and women whose "power, talent, or moral example is transforming the world” in 2004, President Robinson continues to lead by example, acting as a bold, determined catalyst for change. Learn more about speaker Mary Robinson.
A visually impaired social entrepreneur working to enhance the relationship between disability and society, Caroline Casey has received several high profile awards in recognition of her work worldwide. In 2004, she founded Kanchi, an organization that works to change social attitudes and perceptions regarding disability, with a focus on business and media. Each year, Kanchi hands out Ability Awards to organizations around the world, which recognize them for best practice in the inclusion of people with disabilities as employees, customers and members of the community. Learn more about speaker Caroline Casey.
A Nobel Peace Laureate, Archbishop Tutu served as South Africa’s voice of conscience during its long struggle against apartheid, soothing the spirits and rallying the hearts of his people with simple words of passion and dignity. As Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, he continues to be the premier voice for peace, honoring the value of enthusiasm among young people worldwide. The Archbishop’s great friend Nelson Mandela perfectly sums up his legacy: "sometimes strident, often tender, never afraid and seldom without humor.” Learn more about speaker Archbishop Desmond Tutu.