View photo galleries, videos and texts of speeches from past commencement exercises.
- 2021 - Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, career diplomat and Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations
- 2019 - Jane McAuliffe, American educator, scholar of Islam and one of the senior leaders at the Library of Congress
- 2018 - Michele Norris, longtime NPR host, founder of The Race Card Project and executive director of The Bridge
- 2017 - Dr. James J. O’Connell, president and founding physician of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP) and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School
- 2016 - The Honorable Harry K. Thomas, Jr. ’78, the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Zimbabwe
- 2015 - Bryan A. Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery, Alabama
- 2014 - Jon Favreau '03, former director of speechwriting for President Barack Obama and co-founder of Fenway Strategies
- 2013 - Anne Fadiman, acclaimed author, essayist, and teacher
- 2012 - Paul Farmer, healthcare pioneer
- 2011 - Marilynne Robinson, Pulitzer Prize winner and renowned author
- 2010 - Mark Shriver ’86, vice president of Save the Children
- 2009 - Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. ’82, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania
- 2008 - Kevin M. Cahill M.D., renowned humanitarian, president of the Center for International Health and Cooperation, and university professor at Fordham University
- 2007 - John G. Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice of the United States
- 2006 - Bob Wright '65, chairman and CEO of NBC Universal, and vice chairman and executive officer of the General Electric Company
- 2005 - Tim Russert, managing editor and moderator of NBC's Meet The Press
- 2003 - Chris Matthews '67, host of NBC's The Chris Matthews Show and MSNBC's Hardball
- 2002 - Billy Collins '63, U.S. Poet Laureate
- 2000 - G. Timothy Johnson, M.D., medical editor, ABC News
- 1989 - Bryant Gumbel, host, NBC's "The Today Show"
- 1987 - Senator Bill Bradley, New Jersey
- 1984 - Governor Mario M. Cuomo, New York
- 1977 - Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts
View some of Holy Cross' past honorary degree recipients.
View the full list of commencement speakers.