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Graduate Commencement speakers (1990 to 2009)


BLACKSBURG, Va., Nov. 30, 2009 – The following individuals delivered the Graduate Commencement address at Virginia Tech (dating back to 1995):

2009: Nicholas Taubman, businessman, philanthropist, and statesman (spring); Elsa A. Murano, professor and president emerita at Texas A&M University (fall): Listen | Watch

2008: Tae-sik Lee, South Korean ambassador to the United States (spring); Marc Edwards, the Charles Lunsford Professor of Civil Engineering in the College of Engineering and 2007 John D. and Catherine MacArthur Fellow (fall): Watch.

2007: Alberto Bustani, president of the Monterrey Region of the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) in Mexico (spring); Michael F. Hochella, Jr., University Distinguished Professor of Geosciences, Virginia Tech (fall).

2006: Gaston Caperton, president of the College Board and former governor of West Virginia (spring); Ben J. Davenport, Jr., chairman of First Piedmont Corporation and rector of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors (fall).

2005: Judith I. Bailey, president of Western Michigan University (spring); Philip S. Thompson, retired vice president of emerging markets at IBM and member of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors (fall).

2004: Orlando L. Taylor, vice provost for research and dean of the Graduate School at Howard University (spring); Peter Eyre, former dean of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech (fall).

2003: Debra W. Stewart, president, Council of Graduate Schools (spring); Walter Rugaber, former president and publisher of The Roanoke Times and Virginia Tech Presidential Fellow (fall).

2002: Lucinda Roy, Alumni Distinguished Professor in English and director of Creative Writing, Virginia Tech (spring); Paul Antonie "Tony" Distler, Alumni Distinguished Professor and Director of the Arts, Virginia Tech (fall).

2001: Arthur J. Keown, R. B. Pamplin Professor of Finance, Virginia Tech (spring); Kenneth L. Reifsnider, professor of engineering mechanics, Virginia Tech (fall).

2000: Harold E. Burkhart, University Distinguished Professor and head of the Department of Forestry, Virginia Tech (spring); Marion Ehrich, professor of biomedical sciences and pathobiology and co-director of the Laboratory for Neurotoxicity Studies, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech (fall).

1999: James K. Mitchell, Charles E. Via Jr. Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, and University Distinguished Professor, Virginia Tech (spring); Rosemary Carucci Goss, Residential Property Management Advisory Board Professor of Housing, College of Human Resources and Education, Virginia Tech (fall).

1998: Paul Knox, University Distinguished Professor and dean, College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Virginia Tech (spring); John J. Tyson, University Distinguished Professor in Mathematical Biology, Virginia Tech.

1997: J. Michael Duncan, W. Thomas Rice Professor of Civil Engineering and University Distinguished Professor in civil engineering, Virginia Tech (spring); George M. Simmons, Alumni Distinguished Professor, Virginia Tech (fall).

1996: James P. Wightman, Alumni Distinguished Professor, Virginia Tech (spring); Paul B. Siegel, University Distinguished Professor, Virginia Tech (fall).

1995: F. M. Anne McNabb, professor of biology, Virginia Tech (fall).

1994: Paul E. Torgersen, Virginia Tech president.

1993: Elanor Baum, dean of engineering at The Cooper Union, New York City.

1992: Raymond Marshall, former U.S. Secretary of Labor.

1991: Francis T. Borkowski, president of the University of South Florida.

1990: E. Fred Carlisle, Virginia Tech provost.