Commencement Speakers at Kalamazoo College

Note: List is not comprehensive. Compiled by College Archives * = Received honorary degree that year.

1917 Andrew Cunningham McLaughlin, Ph.D.
Professor and Head of the Department of History, University of Chicago
1922 The Reverend James McGee, Class of 1905*
1923 Charles Macauley Stuart, Class of 1880, D.D., LL.D., Litt.D.*
President, Garrett Biblical Institute
1924 Albert Ernest Jenks, Class of 1896, Ph.D.*
Professor of Anthropology, University of Minnesota
Chairman, Division of Anthropology and Psychology, National Research Council
1925 Henry Moore Bates, Ph.B., LL.D.*
Dean of the Law School, University of Michigan
1926 Daniel Clarence Holtom, A.B., B.D., Ph.D.*
Professor of Church History, Japan Baptist Theological Seminary, Tokyo, Japan
1927 William Lyon Phelps, Ph.D., Litt.D.*
Lampson Professor of English Literature, Yale University
1928 Arthur Holly Compton, Ph.D.
Professor of Physics, University of Chicago
Chairman, Committee on X-Rays and Radioactivity, National Research Council
Recipient of Nobel Prize in Physics, 1927
1930 Maynard Owen Williams, Class of 1910, Ph.B.*
Foreign Staff Representative, National Geographic Society
1931 Alexander G. Ruthven*
President, University of Michigan
1932 Allan Hoben, Ph.D., LL.D.
President, Kalamazoo College
1933 William Emilius Praeger, M.S., Sc.D.
Professor of Biology, Kalamazoo College
1934 Vernor Clifford Finch, Ph.D., Sc.D.
Head of Department of Geography, University of Wisconsin
1935 The Reverend Albert W. Beaven, D.D., LL.D.
President, Colgate-Rochester Divinity School, Rochester, New York
1936 Albert Eustace Haydon, M.A., Ph.D.
Professor of Comparative Religion, University of Chicago
1937 John Edgar Hoover, LL.D.*
Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Justice
1938 Dr. William F. Ogburn
Department of Sociology, University of Chicago
1939 Dr. Carl Frederick Wittke
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Oberlin College
1940 Donald John Cowling
President, Carleton College
1941 William J. Cameron
The Ford Motor Company
1942 George Peel Gilmour
Chancellor, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
1943 Homer Ferguson*
U.S. Senator (R-MI)
1944 Dr. J. Hillis Miller
Associate Commissioner of Education, State of New York
1945 George W. Rosenlof, Ph.D., LL.D.
Executive Secretary, North Central Association
1946 Charles Fulton Oursler*
Journalist and fiction writer
1947 Revered Edwin T. Dahlberg, D.D.
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Syracuse, New York
1948 T. Russ Hill
President, Martin-Parry Corporation, Detroit
1949 Dr. George Walter Stewart*
Professor of Physics, State University of Iowa
1950 Carl H. Chatters, Class of 1919
Director, American Municipal Association, Chicago
1951 Roy E. Larsen*
President, Time Incorporated
1952 Kenneth Scott Latourette*
Professor of Missions and Oriental History, Yale University
1953 Wilbour Eddy Saunders
President, Colgate-Rochester Divinity School
1954 Donald R. Belcher
Assistant Director, Bureau of Federal Budget
1955 William G. Pollard*
Executive Director, Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies
1956 Marston Bates*
Professor of Zoology, University of Michigan
1957 Margaret Mead*
Associate Curator of Ethnology, American Museum of Natural Science
1958 Harlan H. Hatcher*
President, University of Michigan
1959 Paul Woodring*
Consultant, The Fund for the Advancement of Education
Educational Advisor, The Ford Foundation
1960 Willard Thorp*
Professor and Chairman, Department of English, Princeton University
1961 Thurgood Marshall*
Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
1962 Franz Josef Strauss*
Minister of Defense, Federal Republic of Germany
1963 Laurence McKinley Gould*
President Emeritus, Carleton College
1964 John Ciardi*
Poetry Editor, Saturday Review
1965 William T. Gossett*
Former Vice-President and General Counsel, Ford Motor Company
1966 Edouard Morot-Sir*
Cultural Counselor, French Embassy
1967 H. Gardner Ackley*
Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers
1968 Constantinos A. Doxiadis*
President, Doxiadis Associates, Inc.
1969 John Hope Franklin*
Chairman of the Department of History, University of Chicago
1970 Robert K. Merton*
Professor of Sociology, Columbia University
1971 William D. Ruckelshaus*
Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency
1972 Kenneth E. Boulding*
Professor of Economics, University of Colorado
1973 Pauline Kael*
Film Critic, The New Yorker
1974 Ralf Dahrendorf*
Commissioner of Education, Science, and Research of the European Communities
Director-designate of the London School of Economics and Political Science
1975 Daniel L. Schorr*
CBS Commentator, “American Social Policy”
1976 Linus C. Pauling*
Director and Fellow, Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine
1977 Joseph Papp*
Producer-Director, Shakespeare Festival and Public Theatre
1978 Elliot L. Richardson*
1979 Jacquelyn Anderson Mattfeld*
President, Barnard College
1980 Norman Cousins*
Editor of Saturday Review, UN Peace Medal winner
1981 Paul Simon*
U.S. Congressman (D-IL)
1982 John Brademas*
President of New York University, Former US Representative (D-IN)
1983 Davidson Nicol*
First Principal of Fourah Bay College, Sierra Leone (1960-1966) and Former UN Undersecretary-General
1984 Joe H. Stroud*
Editor, Detroit Free Press
1985 Shirley A. Chisholm
Professor, Mount Holyoke College, Former US Congresswoman (D-NY)
1986 Henry Jones Fairlie*
Columnist, The New Republic and The Washington Post
1987 Dennis Brutus*
Chairman, Department of Black Community Education, Research, and Development, University of Pittsburgh
1988 David S. Broder*
Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist
1989 Mark O. Hatfield*
U.S. Senator (R-OR)
1990 William J. Raspberry*
Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist
1991 Howard Wolpe*
U.S. Congressional Representative (D-MI)
1992 Johnnetta B. Cole*
President of Spelman College
1993 Leland Eugene Lubbers, S.J.*
Jesuit Priest, Artist, and Founder of SCOLA
1994 Bruce Benton, Class of 1964
Senior Country Officer, The World Bank
1995 Gail A. Raiman, Class of 1973
Director of Communications, American Textile Manufacturers Institute
1996 Myra C. Selby, Class of 1977
Indiana Supreme Court Justice
1997 R. Moses Thompson, Class of 1970
President and Founder, Team Technologies, Inc.
1998 Genna Rae McNeil, Class of 1969
Professor of History, University of North Carolina
1999 Maureen Mickus, Class of 1981
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Michigan State University
2000 John E. Sarno, Class of 1944
Professor, Clinical Rehabilitation Medicine, New York University School of Medicine
2001 Dr. W. Maxwell Cowan*
SCO, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
2002 Dr. Mary Patterson McPherson*
Vice President, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
President Emeritus, Bryn Mawr College
2003 none
2004 Richard Ford*
Pulitzer prize-winning Journalist
2005 Dr. William H. Gass*
Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, Founder of International Writers Center, Washington University, St. Louis
2006 Dr. Ha Jin*
Professor of English, Boston University
2007 Ann Patchett*
2008 Aleksandar Hemon*
2009 Chimamanda Adichie*
2010 The Honorable Carl M. Levin*
U.S. Senator, Michigan
2011 Noah Feldman*
2012 Dr. Linda Rae Murray*
President, American Public Health Association
2013 Dr. Walter E. Massey*
President, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
2014 Ray A. Suarez, Jr.*
Author and Journalist, Al Jazeera America
2015 David Finkel*
2016 Gay J. McDougall*
Member of UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination; Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence, Leitner Center for International Law and Justice, Fordham University School of Law
2017 Kevin Lobo*
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Stryker Corporation
2018 Deborah Bial*
President and Founder, Posse Foundation
2019 Kenneth G. Elzinga, Ph.D. ’63
Robert C. Taylor Professor of Economics, University of Virginia

* = Received honorary degree that year.