Top of the Morning, May 12, 2014: From the archives

Top of the Morning, May 12, 2014: From the archives

On Saturday, a University of Illinois graduate who was out of this world not long ago will return to his alma mater and talk to a few thousand newly minted UI grads.

Mike Hopkins, former UI football player and one of the astronauts who spent time on the International Space Station, will be the second astronaut to give a commencement address. Steve Nagel, who flew on four NASA space shuttle missions — two as commander — is the other.

So here's a little look back in words at some of the speakers who have attempted to impart some final wisdom for departing seniors:

"You won't find an NFL team for sale through social media or listed on Craigslist. To achieve the American dream, it's all on you to make it happen."

Shahid Khan

"What a waste if you decide to give only your skills to a system that cries out for your spirit: to reduce the whys of your life to a 'to do' list on your refrigerator."

Tim Shriver

"Exciting opportunities are all around you. You're doing things in communications my generation only thought of as mysteries."

Mannie Jackson

"That's one of those things about being a computer-science major. Valentine's Day is just another day,"

Jawed Karim

"What would your mother think? If you use that test to gauge your behavior, you will reach the right decision every time."

Thomas Siebel

"Success can contribute to happiness, but it is more happiness that leads to success. Find a worthy purpose and invest yourself into it."

Bill Geist

"When you fail, when you feel humiliated, you need people on your personal board of directors who can help you discover a way to see your experience as a cause, not an opportunity for grievance."

Lani Guinier


Commencement speakers at University of Illinois

2014: Mike Hopkins, UI graduate and astronaut.

2013: Shahid Khan, president of Flex-N-Gate and owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars

2012: Cokie Roberts, political commentator for ABC News (morning ceremony): Orion Samuelson, broadcaster and host of U.S. Farm Report (afternoon ceremony)

2011: White House Chief of Staff William Daley, brother of former Mayor Richard M. Daley

2010: Tim Shriver, chairman and chief executive officer of Special Olympics International, founded by his mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver

2009: Suze Orman, financial adviser, author, motivational speaker and TV host (morning ceremony); Carl Schramm, economist and president and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (afternoon ceremony).

2008: Mannie Jackson, chairman and owner of the Harlem Globetrotters

2007: Jawed Karim, computer scientist and co-founder of YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim

2006: Thomas Siebel, entrepreneur/founder of Siebel Systems who funded UI Thomas M. Siebel Center for Computer Science.

2005: Bill Geist: Emmy-award winning commentator for CBS

2004: Lani Guinier, civil rights attorney, author and law professor, Harvard Law School 2003: Barry Bearak, New York Times Magazine journalist and 2002 Pulitzer Prize winner

2002: Maya Angelou, author, educator, civil rights activist and National Medal of Arts recipient 

2001: Stanley O. Ikenberry, president, American Council on Education and UI president emeritus. 

2000: Paul Simon, former U.S. senator 

1999: Richard Kaplan, president, CNN/USAS 

1998: Robert D. Novak, newspaper columnist and TV commentator 

1997: Diane Sawyer, news correspondent and co-anchor of ABC's 'Prime Time Live' news magazine 

1996: George M. C. Fisher, chairman, president and CEO of Eastman Kodak Company 

1995: Ikenberry (John Chancellor, broadcast journalist, was scheduled speaker) 

1994: Hillary Rodham Clinton, first lady of the United States 

1993: Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president, Children's Defense Fund 

1992: Steven R. Nagel, astronaut 

1991: Oscar Arias Sanchez, former president of Costa Rica and 1987 Nobel Peace Prize recipient 

1990: Carl Sagan, David Duncan Professor of Astronomy and Space Science, director of Laboratory for Planetary Studies, Cornell University 

1989: Richard Salant, former president, CBS News 

1988: George F. Will, columnist and political commentator 

1987: Arnold O. Beckman, founder and chairman, Beckman Instruments 

1986: Frank H. T. Rhodes, president, Cornell University 

1985: Thomas A. Murphy, former chairman of the board and CEO, General Motors Corp. 

1984: John E. Cribbet, chancellor, Urbana campus. 

1976-1983: No speaker. 

1975: Lyle H. Lanier, executive vice president and provost, emeritus director, Office of Administrative Affairs and Educational Statistics, American Council on Education. 

1974: Robert Bingham Downs, dean, library administration and professor emeritus of library science. 

1973: Warren B. Cheston, chancellor, University of Illinois at Chicago Circle. 

1972: None. 

1971: David Dodds Henry, UI president. 

1970: Allen S. Weller, dean, UI College of Fine and Applied Arts. 

1969: Richard B. Ogilvie, governor of Illinois. 

1968: William L. Everitt, dean, UI College of Engineering. 

1967: David E. Lilienthal, chairman and chief executive of Development and Resources Corp. and former chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. 

1966: The Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, president, University of Notre Dame. 

1965: Leland John Haworth, director of the National Science Foundation and former UI professor of physics. 

1964: W. Albert Noyes Jr., Ashbel Smith Professor of Chemistry, University of Texas. 

1963: Henry T. Heald, president and trustee of the Ford Foundation. 

1962: Otto Kerner, governor of Illinois. 

1961: Lawrence A. Kimpton, general manager of planning, Standard Oil Co. 

1960: James R. Killian Jr., chairman of the board, MIT. 

1959: Arthur S. Fleming, secretary, U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. 

1958: Thomas W. Baldwin, UI professor of English. 

1957: Henning Larsen, UI vice president and provost. 

1956: Robert D. Calkins, president, Brookings Institute. 

1955: Russell J. Humbert, president, DePauw University. 

1954: Bishop H. Clifford Northcott. 

1953: Allan Nevins, professor of history, Columbia University. 

1952: Harlan H. Hatcher, president, University of Michigan. 

1951: Raymond Walters, president, University of Cincinnati. 

1950: Adlai E. Stevenson, governor of Illinois. 

1949: Herold C. Hunt, professor and first chair of Administrative Careers Program, Harvard; former Chicago schools superintendent, undersecretary of U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare.

Source: University of Illinois, News-Gazette archives

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