The 8 Best Commencement Speakers of 2013

While many colleges can find a CEO or Nobel Prize winner (that none of the undergrads have actually heard of) to speak at their graduation ceremonies, some go above and beyond. These 10 colleges managed to snag some of the biggest names in entertainment and politics for their commencement speakers. These celebrities definitely have plenty of wisdom to share with class of 2013.

1. Oprah: Harvard University

After so many years of success, the media mogul will have plenty to draw on for an inspirational send-off speech. Maybe she’ll even start giving all the graduates free things. Just imagine her saying, "YOU get a free degree, and YOU get a free degree, and YOU get a free degree!"

2. Ed Helms: Knox College

The hilarious star of The Office is sure to send the class of 2013 into a fit of giggles. A graduate of Oberlin College, Ed will definitely be able to joke about the collegiate lifestyle. Maybe he'll even break out into a ballad, like the tiger song from The Hangover.

3. President Barack Obama: The Ohio State University, Morehouse College, and the United States Naval Academy

The President almost always makes an appearance at college commencement ceremonies. This year, he'll be extra busy, as he’s making stops at three schools. But his three speeches will likely be different; he may have a different message to send to the students at Morehouse—a historically black college—than the ones joining the Navy.

4. The Dalai Lama: Tulane University

With a multitude of inspiring quotes, from "Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions," to "The purpose of our lives is to be happy," this world leader is likely to give plenty of down-to-earth advice to the new graduates.

5. Julie Andrews: University of Colorado at Boulder

Who wouldn't love to have Mary Poppins or The Queen of Genovia wish them well upon graduation? There's no doubt that Julie Andrews will eloquently send seniors on their way to the real world—maybe even with a song!

5. Bill Cosby: University of Baltimore

This sitcom star knows a thing or two about success—from Fat Albert to The Cosby Show, Cosby has certainly made a name for himself. His speech will likely inspire graduates to the same sort of success and give them a few laughs along the way. We just hope he doesn't wear one of his signature sweaters to the ceremony!

6. Joss Whedon: Wesleyan University

He may not physically appear on the big screen, but Whedon’s work writing and directing Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Avengers entitles him to a prominent place in Hollywood history. Even if his commencement address isn't as action-packed as one of his movies, he’ll make it fun—he’s in the entertainment business, after all.

7. Stephen Colbert: University of Virginia

There's no doubt this TV personality will deliver one of the funniest graduation speeches in America this May. Not convinced? Watch his satire-soaked speech from 2011 at Northwestern University.

8. Jonathan Safran Foer: Middlebury College

This author of the books-turned-movies Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Everything Is Illuminated has an unparalleled way with words. If his commencement address is anything like his eccentric novel writing, he’ll effortlessly send graduates and family from laughter to tears.

Does your school have an awesome speaker coming to graduation? Tell us who it is in the comments below!