Top Commencement Speakers

As big names address millions of cap-and-gown-clad graduates this month, The Daily Beast figures out which speakers—from Maya Angelou to Al Gore—have graced the podium the most through the years.

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

1, Bill Cosby

Comedian, author, activist

Commencement speeches: 40

Dale Sparks / AP Photo

2, Bill Clinton

42nd U.S. President

Commencement speeches: 32

AP Photo

3, Marian Wright Edelman

President and founder of the Children’s Defense Fund

Commencement speeches: 25

AP Photo

4, Madeleine Albright

Former Secretary of State

Commencement speeches: 22

Joe Raymond / AP Photo

5, Elizabeth Dole

Former U.S. senator, Cabinet secretary, Red Cross director

Commencement speeches: 19

AP Photo

5, Tom Brokaw

Broadcast journalist and former anchor of NBC Nightly News

Commencement speeches: 19

AP Photo

7, Maya Angelou

Poet and author

Commencement speeches: 18

Matthew Healey / Landov

8, George H. W. Bush

41st U.S. President

Commencement speeches: 17

Charlie Neibergall / AP Photo

9, Bill Bradley

Former basketball player, U.S. senator and 2000 Democratic presidential candidate

Commencement speeches: 16

AP Photo

9, Hillary Clinton

U.S. Secretary of State

Commencement speeches: 16

Michael Okoniewski / AP Photo

9, Ted Koppel

Broadcast journalist; former anchor of Nightline

Commencement speeches: 16

Newscom

12, Garry Trudeau

Creator of Doonesbury comic strip

Commencement speeches: 15

Michael Smith / Getty Images

13, Kofi Annan

Former Secretary-General of the United Nations

Commencement speeches: 14

AP Photo

13, Albert Gore

45th U.S. Vice President

Commencement speeches: 14

Mike Mergen / AP Photo

15, Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Former U.S. senator and U.N. ambassador

Commencement speeches: 13

Larry Downing / Reuters

15, George W. Bush

43rd U.S. President

Commencement speeches: 13

Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images

15, Cokie Roberts

Journalist and author

Commencement speeches: 13

Frank Franklin II / AP Photo

18, John McCain

U.S. Senator and 2008 Republican presidential candidate

Commencement speeches: 12

Peter Schumacher / AP Photo

18, Andrew Young

Former Atlanta mayor, U.S. congressman and U.N. ambassador

Commencement speeches: 12

Charles Dharapak / AP Photo

18, Barack Obama

U.S. President

Commencement speeches: 12

Dean Hare / AP Photo

18, Robert Gates

U.S. Secretary of Defense

Commencement speeches: 12

Alan Solomon / AP Photo

22, Mario Cuomo

Former New York Governor

Commencement speeches: 11

AP Photo

22, David McCullough

Author

Commencement speeches: 11

Chris Hondros / Getty Images

24, Desmond Tutu

Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town; Nobel Peace Prize recipient

Commencement speeches: 10

Newscom

24, Gloria Steinem

Political activist and journalist

Commencement speeches: 10

Evan Agostini / Getty Images

24, Johnnetta Cole

Director of Smithsonian National Museum of African Art; former president of Spellman College

Commencement speeches: 10

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

24, Michael Bloomberg

New York City Mayor; founder of Bloomberg, LP

Commencement speeches: 10

AP Photo

28, Sol Linowitz

Former diplomat; former chairman of Xerox

Commencement speeches: 9

Brian Snyder / Reuters

28, Paul Volcker

Chairman of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board; former chairman of the Federal Reserve

Commencement speeches: 9

Yuri Cortez, AFP / Getty Images

28, Oscar Arias

Former president of Costa Rica; Nobel Peace Prize recipient

Commencement speeches: 9

Carlos Rene Perez / AP Photo

28, Edward Kennedy

Former U.S. Senator

Commencement speeches: 9

Christopher Ruppel / Getty Images

28, George Will

Journalist

Commencement speeches: 9

Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

28, Jane Alexander

Actress; former director of the National Endowment for the Arts

Commencement speeches: 9

AP Photo

28, Colin Powell

Former Secretary of State

Commencement speeches: 9

David Holston / AP Photo

35, Rudy Guiliani

Former Mayor of New York

Commencement speeches: 8