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Graduate School Commencement speakers (1990 to 2011)


BLACKSBURG, Va., Nov. 28, 2011 – The following individuals delivered the Graduate School Commencement address at Virginia Tech (dating back to 1990):

2011: Betty P. Chao, founder, president, and chief executive officer of WESTECH International Inc. and Virginia Tech alumna (spring):  Listen; Jaan Holt, Patrick and Nancy Lathrop Professor of Architecture and director of the Washington Alexandria Architecture Center, National Capital Region, Virginia Tech (fall) Read | Watch

2010: Stephan Bieri, Swiss entrepreneur, internationally recognized consultant, and chairman of the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute scientific advisory board (spring): Listen | Watch; Lori Wagner, manager of Advanced Fibers and Composites for Honeywell International, alumna, and former member of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors (fall):  Listen | Watch

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): Read; 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.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 225 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $496 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.