Student Commencement Speakers

July 11, 1862 Thomas Franklin, one of the two graduates, gave the primary address; undergraduates Eugene Calvert, John S. Gittings, Rudolph Hitz, Addison Randall, Charles Benedict Calvert, Jr., William P. Turpin, William H. Wallis, C. Newman, and S. D. Hall also spoke or recited
June 26, 1863 Charles Benedict Calvert, Jr.
1864  [4 graduates, no commencement excercises?]
1865  [no graduates?]
1866  [at least 3 graduates, no commencement excercises?]
1867  [at least 1 graduate, no commencement excercises?]
1868  [no graduates?]
1869  [no graduates?]
1870  [no graduates?]
June 22, 1871  One graduate.  Students read addresses.
1872  [no graduates?]
June 26, 1873  Robert S. Henry, D. Dulany Worthington, William F. Waters, Walter F. Worthington, J. Asbury Regester, Oliver C. Miller
June 25, 1874  John W. Coffren, Jr., Horace M. Davis, Lewis A. Griffith, Frank C. Norwood
June 24, 1875  [no student speakers?]
June 27, 1876  [no student speakers?]
June 26, 1877  [no student speakers?]
June 25, 1878  [no student speakers?]
June 24, 1879  T. Truxton Houston (Salutatory), Samuel Cissel (Valedictory)
June 29, 1880  William H. Thomas (Salutatory), T. Truxton Houston (Valedictory)
June 28, 1881  H. E. Gale (Salutatory), R. S. Mercer
June 27, 1882  William H. Thomas (Valedictory)
June 28, 1883  [no student speakers?]
1884  [at least 2 graduates, no commencement excercises?]
1885  [no graduates?]
June 17, 1886  [no graduates or closing exercises, due to "recent reorganization"]
1887  [no graduates?]
June 19, 1888  L. B. Johnson, S. M. Chambers, A. C. Talson, Melvin C. Hazen, (orators) J. B. Weems, R. E. Smith, W. S. Singer (essayists)
June 19, 1889  R. M. Pindell (Valedictory)
June 18, 1890  C. C. Manning, W. S. Keech, Jr., R. C. M. Calvert, C. E. Soles, E. G. Niles, R. L. Russell (Valedictory)
June 24, 1891  F. P. Veitch, J. C. Langley, Charles Branch, Su Penn (Pyon Su), J. B. Latimer (Valedictory), and S. W. Gambrill (Class of 1892, on behalf of the undergraduates)
June 15, 1892  Stephen Gambrill (Valedictory)
June 14, 1893  H. C. Sherman, S. S. Buckley, J. J. W. Lawson, Charles Alsey, G. Y. Graft
June 13, 1894  [no student speakers?]
June 19, 1895  William W. Skinner (Valedictory) - Skinner was a nationally known agricultural research chemist and early leader in studies of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River; he served eighteen years on the University of Maryland Board of Regents, seven of those as chair
June 17, 1896  W. T. S. Rollins (Oration), H. H. Heyser (Valedictory)
June 16, 1897  W. M. S. Weedon (Salutatory), J. D. Cronmiller (Valedictory)
June 15, 1898  Claude V. Allnutt (Salutatory), D'Arcy C. Barnett (Valedictory)
June 14, 1899  H. Edward Collins (Salutatory), J. A. E. Eyster (Valedictory)
June 13, 1900  H. J. Kefauver (Salutatory), E. N. Sappington (Valedictory)
June 19, 1901  F. V. McDonnell (Salutatory), W. W. Cobey (Valedictory)
June 11, 1902  Robert Laurie Mitchell (Salutatory), Arthur Roscoe Hirst (Valedictory)
June 17, 1903  Preston Littlepage Peach (Salutatory), John Pouder Collier (Valedictory)
June 15, 1904  Lewis Walke Cruikshank (Salutatory), Ernest Wilbur Stoll (Valedictory)
June 14, 1905  Albert Augustus Parker (Salutatory), Glenworth Sturgis (Valedictory)
June 13, 1906  Lemuel Ferdinand Zerkel (Salutatory), Richard Hooper Dixon, Jr. (Valedictory)
June 12, 1907  Harry D. Williar, Jr. (Salutatory), Morris Henry Adams (Valedictory)
June 10, 1908  Harry Clifton Byrd (Salutatory), John Paul Lysias Shamberger (Valedictory) - Byrd returned to his Alma Mater in 1911 as Professor of English and History and football coach and rose through the administrative ranks to become president of the University of Maryland from 1935 to 1954.
June 16, 1909  Percival Elliott Burroughs (Salutatory), James Stanley Gorsuch (Valedictory)
June 15, 1910  C. M. Saunders (Salutatory), Millard Evelyn Tydings (Valedictory) - Tydings later became a four-term U. S. Senator from Maryland, a fierce opponent of McCarthyism, and the father of Philippine independence.
June 14, 1911  Lindsay McDonald Silvester, Jr. (Salutatory), Joseph William Kinghorne (Valedictory)
June 12, 1912  M. W. McBride (Salutatory), N. L. Clark (Valedictory)
June 18, 1913  H. S. Koehler (Salutatory), M. E. Davis (Valedictory)
June 17, 1914  D. F. Schamberger (address)
June 16, 1915  [no student speakers?]
June 7, 1916  Edwin Andrew Taylor (Salutatory), Ralph Frank McHenry (Valedictory )
May 30, 1917  W. D. Gray (Salutatory), H. B. Derrick (Valedictory)
May 30, 1918  [no student speakers?]
May 30, 1919  E. M. Sawyer (Senior Address)
June 16, 1920  Elizabeth G. Hook (Salutatory), Edward B. Ady (Valedictory)
June 11, 1921  Charles W. Cole (Senior Address)
June 10, 1922  Sterling Ruffin Newell (Address)
June 16, 1923  Robert Malcolm Watkins (Valedictory)
June 14, 1924  Aubrey S. Wardwell (Valedictory)
June 9, 1925  Edward F. Juska (Valedictory)
June 8, 1926  T. A. Brown (Valedictory )
June 7, 1927  Milford H. Sprecher (Valedictory)
June 2, 1928  [no student speakers?]
June 11, 1929  [no student speakers?]
June 10, 1930  [no student speakers?]
June 9, 1931  [no student speakers?]
June 4, 1932  [no student speakers?]
June 3, 1933  [no student speakers?]
June 2, 1934  [no student speakers?]
June 1, 1935  [no student speakers?]
June 6, 1936  [no student speakers?]
June 5, 1937  [no student speakers?]
June 4, 1938  [no student speakers?]
June 3, 1939  [no student speakers?]
June 1, 1940  [no student speakers?]
June 7, 1941 [no student speakers?]
May 30, 1942 [no student speakers?]
February 4, 1943 [no student speakers?]
May 29, 1943  [no student speakers?]
September 30, 1943  [no student speakers?]
December 22, 1943  [no student speakers?]
March 25, 1944  [no student speakers?]
June 28, 1944  [no student speakers?]
September 28, 1944  [no student speakers?]
December 22, 1944  [no student speakers?]
March 26, 1945  [no student speakers?]
June 27, 1945  [no student speakers?]
June 8, 1946  [no student speakers?]
June 7, 1947  [no student speakers?]
June 5, 1948  [no student speakers?]
June 4, 1949  [no student speakers?]
June 10, 1950  [no student speakers?]
June 9, 1951  [no student speakers?]
June 7, 1952  [no student speakers?]
June 6, 1953  [no student speakers?]
June 5, 1954  [no student speakers?]
June 4, 1955  [no student speakers?]
June 9, 1956  [no student speakers?]
June 8, 1957  [no student speakers?]
June 7, 1958  [no student speakers?]
June 6, 1959  [no student speakers?]
June 4, 1960  [no student speakers?]
June 10, 1961  [no student speakers?]
June 9, 1962  [no student speakers?]
June 8, 1963  [no student speakers?]
June 6, 1964  [no student speakers?]
June 5, 1965  [no student speakers?]
June 4, 1966  [no student speakers?]
June 3, 1967  [no student speakers?]
June 8, 1968  [no student speakers?]
June 7, 1969  [no student speakers?]
January 22, 1970  [no student speakers?]
June 6, 1970  [no student speakers?]
January 25, 1971  [no student speakers?]
June 5, 1971  [no student speakers?]
January 24, 1972  Thomas White Hall, Jr.
June 3, 1972  Gregory W. Mitchell
December 21, 1972  Joan Charlotte Hennessey
May 19, 1973 Alexis Julia Leonard
December 22, 1973 Timothy John Brennan
May 12, 1974 C. Thomas McMillen — McMillen became the first student from the University of Maryland to be to be awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and later served as a U. S. Representative from Maryland from 1987 to 1993. He was a member of the 1972 U. S. Olympic men's basketball team that won a silver medal. He also played professional basketball for the Buffalo Braves (1976-1977), New York Knicks (1977), Atlanta Hawks (1978-1983), and Washington Bullets (1984-1985).
December 20, 1974 Martha Lynn Innocenti
May 11, 1975  Susan Lynne Morris
December 21, 1975  Susan Bette Zuckerman
May 15, 1976  Gary Allan Prince
December 17, 1976  Lawrence Weiss
May 14, 1977  Henri D. Barholomot
December 19, 1977  Elizabeth A. Williams
May 19, 1978  Alan Ansher
December 18, 1978  Karen L. Ehrlich
May 18, 1979  Alan and Alvin Chow
December 18, 1979  Cheryl E. Johnson
May 16, 1980  Patricia R. Richards
December 22, 1980  Hari Cheryl Brown
May 15, 1981  Mary Jane Inglesby
December 22, 1981  Kevin L Fast
May 14, 1982  Henry A. Affeldt, Jr.
December 22, 1982  Tony John Larioni
May 23, 1983  Daniel Dean Dietrick
December 23, 1983  Anne Beth Modlin
May 24, 1984  Michael Wannon
December 21, 1984  Seanne Elise Udell
May 23, 1985  Andrew W. Trice
December 20, 1985 Judith Tibbs Sciannella
May 27, 1986  Ruth Brenda Felsen
December 23, 1986  Michael E. Lorenzen
May 26, 1987  Perry William Alexion
December 22, 1987  Michael Ernest Severino
May 24, 1988  Sarah Rose-Anne Linde
December 23, 1988  Susan Tokarcik
May 25, 1989  Rhonda Y. Williams
December 22, 1989  Marie France Le Bouder
May 24, 1990  Debra Lynne Smith
May 23, 1991  Jeffrey Todd Adler
December 20, 1991  Anna Kathryn Gilcher
May 19, 1992  Jeffrey Alan Jones
December 22, 1992  Susan Elizabeth Garrett
May 20, 1993  Monica Willis
December 23, 1993  Michael David Nicoleau
May 19, 1994  Susan M. Ator — A Reisterstown, Md., native, Astor graduated with a 4.0 and degrees in math education and Spanish. She studied abroad in Madrid and volunteered for Habitat for Humanity. She was a member of math honor societies and Phi Beta Kappa.
December 22, 1994  Colleen R. Read — Read graduated with a degree in Spanish language and literature and finished a degree in government and politics in the spring of 1995. She earned a 4.0 and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She volunteered for the Child Welfare division of Social Services and tutored.
May 19, 1995  Juanita Russell — Russell was a teaching assistant and received the Shirley Chisholm Award, among others. She earned a 4.0 while working part-time and raising a family.
December 22, 1995  Stuart Amateau — A psychology major, Amateau worked in the lab of the chair of the department. He got to present his research at the annual Society of Neurosciences convention.
May 23, 1996  Supriya Goyal — Goyal double majored in philosophy and neurobiology and achieved a 4.0 gpa. She was involved with the University Honors Program and the Central Judicial Board, as well as the student newspaper and WMUC Radio. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Golden Key Honor Society, and many other societies.
December 20, 1996  Beth Lowenthal — Lowenthal earned a B.A. in French (business concentration) and minors in pre-pharmacy, German, and Spanish and is from Ellicott City, Md. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and other societies.
May 22, 1997  Joel E. Buzy — A trained firefighter, paramedic, and emergency dispatcher, he decided to pursue an undergraduate education in biological sciences after overcoming a learning disability
December 21, 1997  Raymond Peters — He graduated as an anthropology major after an extended break in his undergraduate career which first ended in 1983. His work on Vietnamese kinship and culture change encouraged him to pursue graduate study.
May 22, 1998  Randall D. Katz — Twice a finalist for the Truman scholarship, twice a winner of the Udall Scholarship for Excellence in National Environment Policy, and member of Phi Beta Kappa, he was also a member of the Student Government Association and the Student Honor Council. He graduated with two bachelor's degrees and certificates from University Honors and College Park Scholars.
December 20, 1998  Amy Schlom — Marketing major and member of Phi Beta Kappa and Beta Gamma Sigma, she graduated with a 4.0.
May 24, 1999  Benjamin Lynerd — Lynerd was a double major in Government and Politics and Music and was a member of both the University Honors Program and the Government/Politics Departmental Honors Program. He held leadership positions in Sigma Alpha and won the Homer Ulrich Award for Piano Performance in 1997.
December 23, 1999 G. Scott Shaw — A journalism major who was a columnist for the Diamondback, he was president of the university's chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. He was involved in hospice care through communications projects and volunteer work.
May 25, 2000 Mona H. Siddiqui — The first recipient of the University Medal, she majored in both physiology/neurobiology and philosophy. She volunteered at Shady Grove Nursing Home and Longview Elementary School and researched at the National Institutes of Health. She also assisted in a maternity ward in a hospital in Karachi, Pakistan, and was a member of the University Honor Council.
December 21, 2000 Heather C. King — After a year at Prince George's Community College, King attended the University of Maryland as a College Park Scholar and Honors student. She achieved a 4.0 gpa with her English language and literature major.
May 24, 2001 Mark Daniel Tosso — Tosso was involved with many campus service organizations including President's Student Advisory Council, University Senate, and the Office of Judicial Programs. A Banneker/Key Scholar, he maintained a 4.0 as a double major in history and communication. He was also a part of the Gemstone and History Honors programs and Omicron Delta Kappa.
December 20, 2001 Sonia Kumar — A Banneker/Key Scholar with a 3.9 gpa, she majored in journalism. With parents from other countries, her father from India and her mother of Turkish and Persian extraction from Iran, she gained an international perspective. She won a Senior Scholars Award in 2001 that allowed her to write and travel in Iran.
May 23, 2002 Zachary Bookman — Before entering UMD, he sold his lawn business, from which he made $50,000 throughout high school. He graduated with a degree in government and politics, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and as a Dean's Academic Scholar. He studied abroad at Oxford University, was involved in theatre, men's varsity cross-country, and chess tournaments.
December 22, 2002 Kirsten Ehrenspeck — She choose a major in secondary education, speech and English. She graduated with honors and a 3.9 gpa. She founded "The Prism", and helped reform "Terp Pals." She was a member of Alpha Lambda Delta honors society and the University Honors Program, as well as the Mighty Sound of Maryland marching band.
May 22, 2003 Rebecca Ariel Hoffberg — Graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in government and politics, and a B.S. in mathematics. A Baltimore native, she was a member of the Gemstone program, a Banneker/Key Scholar, was the Undergraduate Researcher of the year, Truman Scholarship finalist, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Maryland Medallion Society, and the Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Society.
December 20, 2003 Robyn Ellyn Sanderson — Double astronomy and physics major, she also sang in Maryland's Chamber Singers, a Virginia-based choral group, and directed a student singing group, Voices of Truth
May 20, 2004 Christine Smit — A Beltsville native, Ms. Smit was a computer engineering and vocal performance double major.
December 18, 2004 Renee Sihvola — A Frederick native, she graduated with a double major in government and politics and criminal justice with a 3.89 gpa. She helped found the Open Door Fellowship, and was a member of the Lutheran Student Association and College Park Scholars.
May 21, 2005 Fernando Balderrama — A native of Bolivia, Balderrama came to the United States as an American Field Service exchange student. Deeply influenced by the horrors of poverty in his home country, he worked with victims of the Santa Cruz riots, assisted with activities in the Lourdes Clinic, and volunteered in orphan and retirement homes. While at the university, he sought to integrate Latin American culture into campus activities and served as a Spanish mentor in the Language House. He graduated with a triple major in business, economics, and French.
December 21, 2005 Samy Bassam Muaddi — An economics major and College Park Scholar, he co-founded the Common Grounds Project, a collaboration between the Jewish Leadership Council and the Organization of Arab Students that explores the common ground between the Jewish and Arab cultures. He also co-founded the Terp Runners sports club and was a member of the Debkeh troupe, performing traditional Arab folk dance.
May 21, 2006 Michelle (Shuli) Karkowsky — A government and economics double major as well as a Banneker/Key and Gemstone Scholar, she served as a member of the university's Board of Governors and the Gemstone GenEthics team. She was a leader in the local and national Jewish community, working for Senator Barbara Mikulski on the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
December 20, 2006 Ashleigh Butler — A music performance and music education double major from Parkton, Maryland, she played oboe in the University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra, and guest taught the College Park Youth Orchestra. She was also a Gemstone Scholar, focusing her efforts on a project dealing with vaccination programs in developing nations.
May 20, 2007 Ryan Cooper — A psychology major and active member of the Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honor Society and Rawlings Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program. He led the Capitol Hill to Classroom community initiative, educating local low-income students about the capital and national politics. He was also an intern for Senator Barack Obama.
December 19, 2007 Andres Garcia — A government and politics major and sociology minor originally from Santiago, Chile. Fluent in three languages, he was also an undergraduate teaching assistant.
May 22, 2008 Natalie V. Prizel — A major in English with a certification in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies, she studied modernism, sexuality and gender expression in both literary and socio-political contexts. She participated in Worldwise, the Dean's Special Committee on the Arts and Humanities, and re-established the English Undergraduate Association.
May 21, 2009 Reginald Dwayne Betts — An English major, Betts persevered after being incarcerated at 16 to become a writer and poet. His memoir, "A Question of Freedom," was published in the summer of 2009. Betts was the recipient of the Beatrice Hawley Prize for poetry and was a Pushcart Award nominee. He also received a Holden Fellowship to study poetry at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina.
December 19, 2009*

January 24, 2010
Talia Lewis — Received her bachelor's degree in health, culture, and inequality studies, a curriculum she designed through the Individual Studies program. While at the university, she helped found the Women's Jewish Alliance at Maryland and led an alternative spring break trip to Los Angeles, where she and 15 other students volunteered at a homeless shelter and with an after-school program for at-risk youth.  The Philip Merrill Presidential Scholar and University Honors student wrote her senior thesis on organ trafficking and plans to become a family doctor in under-served communities in the United States and abroad.

*-originally scheduled for this date, but was rescheduled to January 2010 after a massive snowstorm closed campus; believed to be the first time commencement has ever been cancelled

May 20, 2010 Onyinyechi Eke — A transfer student from Montgomery College, found time beyond her classwork and research assistantship performing DNA analysis on a hybrid system of roundworms to participate in America Reads*America Counts and HOPE worldwide, which offers after-school activities to low-income youth. Ms. Eke also participated in Howard University's prestigious Summer Medical and Dental Education Program as a dental assistant, and she planned to return to her native Nigeria as a doctor to help repair her country's dysfunctional medical system. She received honors from the College of Chemical and Life Sciences and the Office of Multi-Ehtnic Student Education.
December 18, 2010 Robert W. Puckett II — A criminology and criminal justice major, who faced significant family and personal challenges while completing his education at Maryland.
May 19, 2011 Jon Y. Katzer — A mathematics and economics double major, who minored in computer science. Katzer founded an SAT tutoring company while he was in high school, a business he continued to grow during his undergraduate days at Maryland. Katzer also organized an alternative spring break trip to Tampa, Florida, in spring 2009 to deliver food and work on homes that had suffered hurricane damage.
December 21, 2011 Kevin Matuszak — An accounting major and Gemstone team member who participated in the Gemstone Peace in Prisons Project.
May 20, 2012 Heungkook "HK" Stephens — A civil engineering major, helped Engineers Without Borders develop a sustainable water resource in Brazil and a water chlorination system in Peru. "HK" also directed a youth ministry in Silver Spring, MD, and participated in two local dance troupes as an undergraduate.
Click here to watch a video of his speech.
December 19, 2012 Zainab Hosseini — A family science and black women's studies major who entered college at age 15 and graduated at 19, Ms. Hosseini worked with refugees in Iran, designed a study abroad program in Mexico, volunteered for America Reads* America Counts, and served as a student mentor in the Prince George's County school district.
May 19, 2013 Vijay Baharani — An electrical engineering major, Banneker-Key scholar and Honors College student, math tutor and mentor for America Reads* America Counts, and intern for the university's Dining Services who researched ways to more sustainably source food used at Maryland.
December 21, 2013 Kori Hill — An accounting and information systems major, Hill was a member of the 2009 class of the Maryland Incentive Awards Program, a scholarship program for outstanding students in the Baltimore City or Prince George's County school districts.