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Pomona College Commencement

Caps tossed in the air at the 2014 Commencement ceremony.

The 2014 Commencement ceremony took place on Sunday, May 18. See below for archived speeches and photos, and visit back in a few months for information on the 2015 Commencement.

Past Commencements

Please visit our archived Commencement sections to view videos and photos and read speeches from past Commencements.

  • 2014: Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Barack Obama; Father Gregory Boyle, executive director of Homeboy Industries; tenor, conductor and Los Angeles Opera General Director Plácido Domingo; and Michael Starbird ’70, author and professor of mathematics at The University of Texas at Austin more>>
  • 2013: Steve Jobs author and Aspen Institute CEO and President Walter Isaacson; philanthropist Ranney Draper '60; Guttmacher Institute CEO and President Sharon L. Camp '65 more>>
  • 2012: U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter; educator Marigold Linton; jazz musician David Murray '77; and Occidental College President Jonathan Veitch. more>>
  • 2011: U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu; school reform advocate and President and CEO of the Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools Judy Ivie Burton; astronomer and Griffith Observatory Director Edwin Krupp ’66; and journalist and best-selling author Douglas Preston ’78. more>>
  • 2010: Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano; Price Club co-founder, CEO and president of PriceSmart and philanthropist Robert Price '64; and Oscar-winning screenwriter Robert Towne '56 (Chinatown). more>>
  • 2009: New York Times columnist and author Bob Herbert; Chicago Tribune columnist, "Brenda Star" writer and "Wear Sunglasses" column author Mary Schmich '75; and Chicano/a theatre legend Luis Valdez, playwright/director of "Zoot Suit" and director/writer of "La Bamba." more>>
  • 2008: Oscar-award winning documentarian Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room; former Pomona College President Peter Stanley; award-winning composer and conductor and former musical director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Esa-Pekka Salonen; and Ingrid D. Rowland ’74, professor at the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture in Rome, and author. more>>
  • 2007: Former Sen. Bob Graham (D-Florida); Mary Patterson McPherson, president emeritus of Bryn Mawr College and executive officer of the American Philosophical Society.; Dr. Robert E. Tranquada, M.D., '51, former chairman of the Board of Overseers of the Claremont University Consortium (2000-2006), chairman emeritus of the Board of Trustees of Pomona College and emeritus trustee of the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences. more>>
  • 2006: Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran '69, president of Kalamazoo College in Michigan; Rev. William Sloane Coffin Jr. (honored posthumously,) a renowned peace activist and former civil rights leader; Thomas Crow '69, internationally recognized art historian and director of the Getty Research Institute; and Robert Mezey, recipient of the Trustee Medal of Merit, award-winning poet, and professor of English and poet-in-residence at Pomona College (1976-1999). more>>
  • 2005: Huntington Library President Steven Koblik; leading civil rights attorney John Payton '73; and Thomas Dean Pollard, M.D., '64, the chair of Yale’s University's Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. more>>